Deruta, Italy

The moment we learned we’d be staying near the little Italian town of Deruta, we knew we would want to shop for china (why is it called “china” and not “italy”?).  In Deruta, there’s nearly 15 kilometers of ceramics factories and store fronts, one after the other.

Deruta, Italy 2016
Deruta, Italy 2016
Deruta, Italy 2016
Deruta, Italy 2016

My sister Lyn lives in pottery country in North Carolina and one of our favorite ways to spend a day is to mosey between pottery stores, picking up vases, dishes and cups while admiring the artistry of the potters.  No matter how much pottery we bring home, we always find room for one more beautiful piece.

Things were a little different in Italy.  Anything we bought would have to become part of the weight allowance in our luggage.  We all wanted to shop in store after store but we were very limited by weight and shape.  It was frustrating not being able to buy what we wanted, but it also meant we chose only our very favorite pieces to bring home.

Deruta

Deruta is located in central Italy in Umbria.  The area is known for its refined maiolica manufacture which has been on-going since the early middle ages.

But Deruta is also a town where people live and work.  While the top of the town is a small walled city (small because the population was ravaged by the Plague in the middle ages), the lower parts of the town are modern with compact apartment buildings, numerous shops, and well planned streets.

Deruta, Italy 2016
Deruta, Italy 2016
Deruta, Italy 2016
Deruta, Italy 2016
Deruta, Italy 2016
Deruta, Italy 2016
Deruta, Italy 2016
We stopped at a grocery store for supplies at home and discovered a modern store with farm-to-table-fresh vegetables — all less than 1 Euro per kilogram. Deruta, Italy 2016
Maiolica

Pottery decorates the showrooms, front windows, and even the buildings of Deruta.  At the Museum of Deruta Ceramics, some of the ceramics are used to tell stories.  A signed work by Mancini hangs outside on a wall, telling the story of Ovidio’s 1541 Metamorfosi.  The 15 books of Ovid’s Metamorphoses are a Latin narrative poem telling the history of the world, beginning with the creation.  The ceramic piece hanging on the wall outside the museum is really this beautiful.

Deruta, Italy 2016
Mancini’s Metamorphoses. Deruta, Italy 2016
Ceramic wall art in Deruta, Italy 2016
Wall art in ceramics in Deruta, Italy 2016
Deruta, Italy 2016
Deruta, Italy 2016
Deruta, Italy 2016
Unfortunately, the museum was closed when we visited. Deruta, Italy 2016
Our souvenirs

We met a delightful woman in one pottery store who painted a ceramic duck.  My sisters knew I loved the duck and they bought it for me for my birthday.  Here I am with my hand-wrapped duck and the lovely painter.

Deruta, Italy 2016
Deruta, Italy 2016
DSC01883 Deruta Duck Italy 2016
This is the duck that was wrapped up in the large package in the photo, above. He now sits on my breakfront in my dining room as an ever-present memory of Deruta, Italy 2016.
DSC01881 Italy 2016
These small pieces have a place of honor in my guest bath. From Italy 2016
DSC01882 Italy 2016
This pretty planter sits on a window sill but try as I might, I can’t get anything to grow in the way of herb seeds. I’m going to try a small flower. Italy 2016
Dinner in Deruta

After a long day of sightseeing in the rain, we looked for a good local restaurant for dinner.  This is what it looked like out our windshield:

Deruta, Italy 2016
Rain. Again. Deruta, Italy 2016

Our dash through the rain was rewarded with an outstanding dinner when we found the Osteria il Borghetto as recommended by Trip Advisor.  The tiny restaurant is easy to find, we parked right out front, and we were greeted by the owner as if we were his own family with hugs and kisses at the door.

We simply ordered the special of the day and were treated with a baked caserole as an appetizer – a delicious blend of vegetables and cheese.  Our first plate was a combination pasta in a spicy sauce that was extraordinarily well flavored with perfectly cooked pasta.  Pork loin made up our meat dish; it was accompanied with an zesty slaw and a flavorful polenta puff.

Osteria il Borghetto Deruta, Italy 2016
Osteria il Borghetto Deruta, Italy 2016
Osteria il Borghetto Deruta, Italy 2016
Osteria il Borghetto Deruta, Italy 2016
Osteria il Borghetto Deruta, Italy 2016
Osteria il Borghetto Deruta, Italy 2016

After dinner, the owner came to our table with 15-year-old balsamic vinegar.  He poured out a small teaspoonful and offered it to each of his guests.  POW!  the flavor was rich, full and sweet.  It was the perfect dessert after a heavy meal.  He told us the vinegar is a gift from a friend and he shares it with his customers each night.

Osteria il Borghetto Deruta, Italy 2016
Osteria il Borghetto Deruta, Italy 2016

We left with more hugs all around.  What an extraordinary dining pleasure in Deruta, Italy!

 

 

 

Author: barbgrano1

Just let me see the world! I’m currently focusing on the US and Europe and invite you to share my travels. I teach ethics and political science at St. Petersburg College part time; I retired as a college administrator in Ohio. I am a total geek about government with huge wishes for continued freedom and respect for the individual. We must each do our part.

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