Ceramic plate photographed at Santo Stefano di Camastra
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…
Another Legend Explaining the Moor’s Head
In the past, I’ve recounted one legend of the origins of the decapitated Moor’s-head vase. Last spring while visiting my friend Sebastiano, co-owner of Gelsomino Imports (Sicilian artisanal products), in Castelvetrano, he told me of a different legend of the origins of these ubiquitous ceramic vases, like these pictured in Taormina. It goes something like…
Ceramics, Caltagirone. (Photo Credit: Experience Sicily’s Filippo Buttitta)
An Inspired Workout
Caltagirone’s Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte 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 city is world renowned. (Photo Credit: Experience Sicily’s Filippo…
Dish It Art
Ceramic plate, in the style of artisans from Caltagirone.
A Legend of Revenge
An odd, yet popular decoration seen on terraces, garden balconies, topping gate-pillars, and sometimes as the base of lamps – as pictured here, are ceramic busts of kings, queens, and moors. The owners fill the majolica vases with flowers or other plants, or in this case, electricity. I’ve always found this to be creepy because,…
Church dome (duomo) with majolica tiles, Cathedral of San Lorenzo, Trapani.
Ceramic Tiles from Bagheria’s Storied Villas
Tiles from the terrace of Villa Ramacca, Bagheria.
Architectural Mix in Palermo
Palermo Cathedral’s cupolas, which are adorned with majolica tiles, are a historical contrast to the Norman-Arab details over the arched original windows. The cupolas were added in 1781. The original Norman church as build between 1179 and 1185. These are just two examples of the numerous architectural styles that exist side by side in the…