Shopping for ceramics on the Amalfi Coast is one of the real treats of exploring this gorgeous coastline in southern Italy’s Campania region.
The Amalfi Coast is a vibrant landscape of pastel colored houses, steeply terraced gardens and rocky cliffs plummeting down to the Mediterranean Sea. Filling this scene with even more color and life are the brilliant ceramic shops you'll find in each town along the Amalfi Coast. Ceramic lovers will find these tempting shop displays as irresistible as the gorgeous views of the coastline.
Ceramic making has been an important tradition on the Amalfi Coast since the 15th century, with the main activity centered around the town of Vietri sul Mare. Known as the “Gateway to the Amalfi Coast” since it is the first town you reach on the Amalfi Coast from the city of Salerno, Vietri sul Mare is known as the capital of ceramics in the Campania region. A stop off in Vietri sul Mare is a must for travelers in search of beautiful ceramics.
Credits: Laura Thayer
Walking through the streets of Vietri sul Mare is a cheerful experience. Everything is decorated with hand painted ceramics, even the local food shops and the brightly colored dome of the church of San Giovanni Battista. In the center of town runs the pedestrian street Via Madonna degli Angeli, which is lined with one tempting ceramic shop after another. The lively exteriors are decorated with ceramic murals and samples of the beautiful ceramics on sale inside. Walking through town you’ll soon get an eye for all the different styles and artistic touches.
Credits: Laura Thayer
Vietri sul Mare is also home to Ceramica Artistica Solimene, a striking building clad in multi-colored circular ceramic tiles. One of the few examples of modern architecture on the Amalfi Coast, the Solimene factory was designed in the 1950s by Paolo Solari, an Italian architect that briefly studied under the Frank Lloyd Wright in America. Inside this unusual building you’ll find a showroom selling Solimene’s distinctive ceramics, including their popular series of brightly colored dishes featuring animals.
Vietri sul Mare isn’t the only spot where you’ll find beautiful ceramics on the Amalfi Coast. The towns of Amalfi and Ravello both have a fine selection of shops to keep ceramic lovers content. Driving along the Amalfi Coast road it seems there’s a brightly colored ceramic shop around almost every twist and turn. One of the best is Ceramiche Piccadilly located in a gorgeous spot in Conca dei Marini just above the Grotta dello Smeraldo (Emerald Grotto).
Nearly every town you stop in along the Amalfi Coast will have something pretty to catch your eye. Finding something special for yourself or gifts for others is a lovely way to remember the vivid hues of the Amalfi Coast – the brilliant blue sea, the intense greens and the bright yellow bursts of the locally grown lemons. Every time you see the ceramics it will bring you right back to the beauty of the Amalfi Coast.