Custom for the Customer

This is my new soap dispenser, made for me by ceramic artist Angelo Varsallona, who is based in Caltagirone. In May, I went hunting along the famous stairs of the baroque town seeking two different dispensers for our new apartment. When I couldn’t find what I was looking for, Angelo offered to make them for…

Ascending Into A Different Realm

Today, walking up and down Caltagirone’s Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte felt magical. There is something ethereal about connecting the “upper and lower” parts of town via this 1609 staircase–here with spring flowers decorating it! It’s as if you are ascending into a different realm using the 142 steps that have unique, colorful majolica…

Burgio: A Souvenir And A Story

Bringing home a unique handcrafted piece of pottery for yourself or your loved ones is a fantastic souvenir. Sicily has many centers of ceramics, perhaps the most famous are Caltagirone, Santo Stefano di Camastra, and Sciacca. Burgio, where I photographed this image, is also well-known for its earthenware. For an off-the-beaten path stop, it’s a…

Saint Stephen’s Day in Sicily

Today is Saint Stephen’s Day, a national holiday in Italy. Sicilians and Italians spend the day with family and friends visiting presepi di Natale, or nativity scenes, like this one pictured, made by Zio Lillo in Sant’Angelo Muxaro, north of Agrigento. Even more elaborate are ones presented by actors or townspeople dressed as the Holy…

Feel Inspired

You bring light to the world when you support artists and small business owners. And you’ll feel inspired when you get upclose to an artist like Mirella Pipia, pictured, in Sicily in her ceramic workshop and boutique. Shop small this weekend, when we are offering a special pricing incentive on our 2018 small-group, multi-sensory tours,…