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…

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,…

Sicily Dances, and So Will You

I loved this plate when I saw it last month in Santo Stefano di Camastra, one of Sicily’s ceramics centers. Featuring the ubiquitous Trinacria, the symbol of Sicily, it captures so much about the region: its vibrant colors, the locals’ artistry, and its ancient mysteries and history… and then the plate itself is for serving…

Burgio, Another of Sicily’s Ceramic Centers

Burgio is one of Sicily’s ceramic centers, where for centuries different family studios created distinct pottery. Different from Santo Stefano di Camastra, Caltagirone, and Sciacca, Burgio’s designs are depicted on a tan-colored bed versus white. During our Secret Sicily tour earlier this month, on our excursion led by Val di Kam, we visited Arcuri Ceramics,…

Voilà, It’s Majolica! 

Santo Stefano di Camastra is one of Sicily’s ceramics centers. There is an entire street of the town lined with ceramics shops that are filled with majolica ceramics (maiolica in Italian). Majolica describes a technique of decorating earthenware (ceramics made with red clay, AKA bisque or biscuit) that has been fired at a relatively low…

One with the Tiles

Here I am, one with the tiles of Caltagirone’s Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte, which was built in 1609 to connect the old lower town to the new upper town. Since 1954, each of its 142 steps was decorated with a unique design of colorful, handcrafted majolica ceramic tile, a craft for which the…

A Genius Feat 

If you are into art, architecture, and ceramics, Le Stanze al Genio (The Rooms to the Genius) is for you. This home-museum features a collection of majolica ceramic floor tiles sporting designs from Naples and Sicily that were produced from the end of the 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century. You must…

Sicily’s Red Ceramics

These ceramic tiles, which are painted in the classic style of artisans from Santo Stefano di Camastra, were purchased by my friend Jodi during our time together in Sicily in May. She plans to put them over her kitchen stove. Imagine having a piece of Sicily to look at each time you stir your sauce?