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…

Shopping for Ceramics in Sicily

Last evening, on our way from Taormina to Palermo, we stopped for some shopping in Santo Stefano di Camastra, one of Sicily’s ceramics centers. Come “shop” with me! Watch my Facebook Live broadcast, during which I explain the significance of the ceramic Moor’s head pots, which we’ve seen throughout the island this week. When you…

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…

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,…