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Ceramics Shops in Florence and Tuscany
Amy from MA
I adore good local artwork and crafts, so finding some good sources was
an important part of my trip. Here's a few of the places where I enjoyed browsing
Galleria Ponte Vecchio, Via Guiciardini, 104r, tel:055 2398400
Small shop, with really lovely handpainted ceramics from all over Tuscany,
especially Montelupo. Prices a bit high, but the quality is much finer than
in many other ceramic places which primarily stock pieces that are more assembly
line. I bought one plate in a great dark blue with bright lemons (I think
it was about $30), and still regret not going back for more! The shop is on
the street which runs from the Ponte Vecchio to the Pitti. The shop is in
a little arcade, just to the right of another ceramic shop selling lower-quality
things. You pass through the arcade with windows full of ceramics, and the
shop is on the left. Pieces all over the floor - leave your children or clumsy
Arte Crete, Via del Proconsolo 63r, tel:055 284341
Elizabet Di Constanzo paints lovely ceramics, in a style very much her own.
Stylized flowers, animals, impressionistic Tuscan landscapes decorate pitchers,
plates, oil jars, and tiles. Very expensive, but oh so wonderful. Cute little
salt and pepper dishes with tiny birds a good value. I bought a tiny oil bottle
painted with a field of grasses and irises, with olive trees in the background.
The shop is around the corner from the back of the Duomo. Elizabet speaks
a bit of English, but her assistant is British. They were very kind to my
10 year old son who also likes ceramics.
D and A Ceramics (I think!), Via Ghibellina, just down from the
Oh bother, I don't have a card from this shop. Another single artisan, with
La Botteghina Del Ceramista, Via Guelfa 5r
More wonderful pieces. Prices fair for such high quality.
Bianco e Nero, Via Dei Fusari 21, tel:0577 28.00.26
Walter and his daughter paint primarily in a blue and soft green. They also
produce an orange and black line and some rather ugly Contrada plates. Their
blue/green line is lovely, and very reasonably priced. I bought a small wine
pitcher for $18. Very nice people, too. I complemented him on his beautiful
children, and got royal treatment. Shop is around the corner from the Duomo.
I'm seriously considering ordering a set of dinnerware if my MasterCard ever
recovers from this trip...
I went to Montelupo for one morning, since I know it to be a town where
ceramics are produced. There are many factories outside town (don't seem to
do much direct sale), and several shops within town selling pottery of varying
quality. All price ranges.
Ceramica ND Dolfi, via Tosco Rom, 39 0571 51264-910116
The Dolfi shop was recommended in the Carla Capalbo book. It took me a while
to find it. Very nice pieces, some of which are made by other artisans and
sold in the Dolfi shop. Wide range of styles. Very expensive, but I bought
a medium-size water jug with nice geometric decoration because it was just
so beautiful. They also have a "seconds" table that is worth a look for bargains.
From the Autostrada from Florence heading toward Pisa, take the Montelupo
exit. Turn right before Montelupo onto SS 67 toward Artimino. Dolfi will be
on your left after 2-3 kilometers.
Ceramica, Via XX Settembre
One of the streets in Montelupo which goes up the hill alongside the river
has a ceramic shop on the right worth visiting. (Osteria Del Sole is on this
street- good local place for lunch). The potter does a lot of traditional
work, as well as some very contemporary designs. Quite a character, too. I'm
hoping my sister has his card, since she bought a piece here.
Mainly tourist shops in the piazza, but one stood out for me. Grazia Giachi
Ricami makes hand embroidered linens. Gorgeous bed sheets, tablecloths, baby
dresses, etc. Prices high for the delicate handwork, lower for machine appliqu
and machine embroidery. Good value were 10 dollar cotton handkerchiefs hand-embroidered
with a lovely flowered single initial. I splurged for a small linen table
runner hand embroidered in white. They also have a shop at their workshop
in Mercatale (055 8218073).
Judy from Italy has a favorite ceramics store in Greve: The small wine
and ceramic store, not in the main Piazza, but on the small road as you are
driving out of Greve. The really big plates for the wall are about $200-$300
instead of $500-$700. Also really nice large vases, they ship for you with
Monte San Savino
Ceramiche Lapucci, Corso Sangallo 8, tel:0575 844928
Another small ceramic shop recommended by Carla Capalbo. Several different
styles. They make the white or multicolored openwork pieces; also floral painted
pieces in soft colors. Prices very low- a large piece would be a very good
value. I bought a very pretty covered casserole dish for $35. They don't speak
English, but my limited Italian and some amusing pantomine got me a piece
out of the back room in a size and style I wanted.
Certaldo is a rather dreary town, but taking the little tram up to Certaldo
Alto was wonderful. Tiny old brick fortified hill village with simple old
church, a few shops and restaurants. Artesimia has some very nice pieces,
and reasonable prices. All hand painted in the studio. There is also an artist
doing lovely prints in the studio across the way.
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