The Ceramics of Orvieto

The unique geology of Orvieto is characterized by layers of tufa, wells, caves and underground cavities. In these cavities in the past we have found many objects made of ceramics such as plates, glasses, jars, and vases. Many were found because of the plague epidemic of 1348 that spread though the city. The people tossed precious personal objects such as glasses, plates, cups and pitchers into these cavities because they were considered infected. In addition to the discovery of ceramics from the Middle Ages, Etruscan ceramics were found during excavations carried out at the necropolis.

The discover of Etruscan and medieval ceramics created a growing interest and enthusiasm in the city. In this context the local figure of Pericles Perali, a passionate researcher and leader in the foundation of the Arte dei Vascellari (1920), created a specific factory in order to produce traditional majolica inspired by the medieval ones.

Ceramics and Orvieto are therefore inextricably linked to this day and the evidence is the presence of shops and people still dedicated to the artistic production of ceramics both reproducing the old style and creating new modern designs.

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