Sunday, June 04, 2017


I honestly don't know if I'll make the time to blog much over the summer, but I'll make the first attempt.  Being back home in Umbria is always strange because we're home in our hearts, but don't have a physical home here anymore, so we rent or stay with friends.  it's wonderful to have friends who welcome into their homes, it IS their home, not ours, and as such we're always searching for something:  the right sized bowl, an extension cord, an extra blanket for the bed.  We've been here for two weeks now, and slowly, slowly, it's starting to feel like home.

Our first week here was spent gorging on Marco's pizza at La Locanda del Tramonto Infinito and researching various ceramic shops in Deruta.  Let's face, I'm spoiled when it comes to pizza, and Marco's is simply the best!  Regarding Deruta, our friends Kim and Bill would arrive by train in Orvieto on Sunday, and we wanted to have the perfect place for Kim to watch Italian artisans make and decorate the majolica Deruta has been producing for hundreds of years.

Having a network of friends is important no matter where you live, but in Italy it's more than important - it's everything.  Before doing, buying or selling anything, ask around.  Ask for suggestions and recommendations, and before long you'll have a confusing, overwhelming list of choices, but with careful research you'll be able to find the perfect solution, and that's just what happened when  we asked for recommendations for ceramic shops.

Kim is a potter.  She throws her own pottery, then paints it herself, so she was very interested to talk with artisans who shared her passion.  We set out one morning to visit several shops that had been recommended, based on our criteria:  some English had to be spoken, we had to be able to watch the artists at work, and they had to be willing to spend some time talking with Kim.

Our first stop, Tassi (Via della Tecnica, 24, 06053 Deruta PG) turned out to be filled with beautiful ceramics, and with beautiful people as well.  We introduced ourselves to Marco, telling him we had been sent by a mutual friend.  He repeated our names, stopped for a moment, then broke into a huge smile.  "Art and Barbara!  I read your blog!  I love you!"  Needless to say, that broke the ice!  How Marco  - whose English is perfect - discovered my blog is beyond me, but chalk it up to the wonders of social media.  

Marco introduced us to his wife, Valeria.  Her father had opened this studio nearly fifty years ago, and Valeria proudly carries on the tradition.  It's a small, three person operation, with Sara also painting the ceramics.  The pieces are bought already made, ready to be decorated.  Marco told us if Kim would like to see the pottery being thrown we could walk down the street to visit his colleague, Roberto.  Even better!  We left Tassi after being given an educational lesson in how the pieces go from baked terracotta to beautifully decorated plates, bowls, pitchers and more.  Kim would probably know most of this, but for us in was a much-needed and much appreciated lesson.  We told Marco we would return with Kim and Bill bright and early on Monday morning, and commented that Kim might be happy to spend the entire day talking, watching, learning and sharing with Marco, Valeria and Sara.

Photos and videos from Tassi are posted on FLICKR



At 6/05/2017 04:57:00 AM , Blogger Michael Georgetti said...

Welcome back

Mike and Rebecca

At 6/05/2017 02:00:00 PM , Blogger Barbara said...

Thanks! Hope to see you soon!


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