hometown of Sicilian ceramics

One of the art forms that Sicily is known for is its lovely hand-painted ceramics.  (ceramiche, cher-RAH-mi-kay)  Sadly for Sicily, I already fell in love with the lovely deep-blue-on-white patterns of Polish pottery when my family lived there.  Sicilian pieces tend to be painted in much lighter colors and more abstract designs, or painted with actual human figures, rather than sticking to nuances of a linear floral pattern as in Polish pottery.

Out of curiosity, which one do you prefer?

                                                        Sicilian Ceramics                                               Polish Pottery

Well, anyway, we live in Sicily now, and Sicily do I love!  Even her ceramics.  When my friend Becca invited me to join her and her sister on a trip to Caltagirone this week to visit the home of Sicily ceramics, I eagerly said yes.

Caltagirone is about an hour’s drive from Motta, where we live.  I admired the passing scenery, including herds of sheep (had to stop for them to get out of the road) and random castles on hilltops, like this one:

We arrived in the town of Caltagirone around 11am as crowds of school children converged on the center of town.  Caltagirone is most famous for the 142 steps in the middle of town.  The walls on either side of the staircase are lined with ceramic shops.

We ducked into a couple shops, examining plates and bowls as well as piggy banks, clocks, and spoon rests.  A shopkeeper smilingly allowed me to take some lovely photos of the ceramics in his shop, and I was getting so excited about posting them here… and then he told me not to post them on the internet.  Groan.  Since this is a friendly blog, and since no one (even a ceramic spoon) gets featured here unless they want to, I won’t post the photos.  However, here’s a stock photo of several Christmas ornaments.  They are so lovely!

Lena was hungry so I sat out on the steps with her for awhile.  These steps are amazing: each of them is lined with hand-painted tiles.  Take a look at this:

After loading ourselves down with purchases, we stopped in a restaurant on the steps for lunch.  Becca’s sister and I both ordered pasta di pistachi, a winter classic in Sicily.  The pasta is cooked in a heavy cream and sprinkled with mild, crushed pistachio nuts.  Becca has the recipe and is going to pass it on to me, meaning it will be on the menu when you come visit!

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3 Responses to hometown of Sicilian ceramics

  1. Eden December 15, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    Honestly I like the Polish better…

  2. Sarah Boschung December 16, 2011 at 5:06 am #

    I like the Polish better, too!


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