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Deruta is an essential destination on your trip to Italy if handmade pottery and ceramics from Italy are on your shopping list. Numerous shops selling both unique and traditional styles of pottery and Italian ceramics border the quaint streets of this charming Italian town.
Universally famous for unique, one of a kind, ceramic styles as well as traditional Umbrian designs, all hand produced here, Deruta is a major ceramics center for the region of Umbria.
The first settlements in Deruta were probably founded during the Eneolithic age but surprisingly little evidence of an Etruscan presence remains. The first indisputable references to the town were in documents dating from the 10th century. From the 11th century onwards, Deruta maintained autonomous privileges until it came under the dominion of Perugia in the 15th century. As a result of the "salt wars" between Perugia and the Pope, the town came under the control of the Papacy and thereby gained in economic stature.
The origins of the ancient art of ceramics go back as far as Etruscan times. By the 14th century it was a well established and widespread industry enjoying its heyday in the 16th and 18th century. Numerous foreign and Italian museums display pieces of Deruta ceramics, including the local Ceramics Museum which displays regional majolica as well as examples of plates, votive tablets, vases, goblets, basins, pharmaceutical containers and fragments of flooring dating from the 16th and 18th century.
To complete your experience, take a ceramics tour and learn first hand the techniques of ceramic production in Deruta while gaining interesting insights through the viewing of work in progress.
Once back home, you will savor memories of your Italian vacation while enjoying your Italian ceramics collection, remembering the day that you hand picked each piece during your tour of Umbria.
The present town of Deruta, located a short distance from the main thoroughfare, has managed to maintain its distinctive features including medieval buildings and characteristic layout. Flanking its winding, cobblestone streets, numerous ceramics studios showcase their own particular quality and artistic styles. There is so much variation and selection that one must plan the better part of a day for even a perfunctory review of the wares.