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Deruta is not a place full of tourist buses. One might ask what the purpose may be to come to this small town some 20 km south of Perugia, quite aside from highways or main touristic attractions. A very simple one: possibly the best ceramic works of art in Italy and elsewhere.Deruta handmade tableware is exquisite and elaborate in design and execution, although may be quite expensive. The price range itself is a barrier from becoming a widespread touristic souvenir, which is why you would sooner find Deruta plates in a specialized shop rather than an American shopping mall or a busy central street in Rome.

Local majolica is famous and popular, and is sold all around the world from US to Russia. It is quite strange we still have to find it anywhere except Deruta itself (we mean in person, not taking into account web sources). Maybe the answer is simple – the world is a big place and Deruta is just a small town. And maybe it serves a narrow clientele of those who are willing to pay quite a sum to set the table, sometimes waiting a few months for their order. Of course, prices in an Umbrian workshop are not the same as in Santa Barbara, California. But if it is not about buying a 24 person set or an antique themed coffee table – everyone can afford to bring home a work of art of a plate for 40-150 Euros (50-200 US Dollars) if he fell in love with it at first sight.

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So, if you happen to be in Umbria, we would really suggest you to jump in to Deruta both to visit one of the most beautiful small town centers in Italy and to widen your horizons on what the handmade Italian majolica should look like. Safety warning: if you are not really into ceramics and your wife is travelling with you, then you better forget either your card or your…

…sized private company, founded by Pietro Picchiotti in 1960. The production cycle is completely carried-out within the company, from the shaping of clay to the kiln firing. The quality and execution are impeccable.Visiting these will be a good start for a nice day in Deruta.

To resume all of the above:What do you do with your plates? You eat from them. Italian handmade tableware is as diverse and beautiful as Italian food itself. Some of the rustic plates will make you prepare some pasta “al dente” and enjoy it with your family as if you are still in the sunny hills of Toscana. Some will remind you of that small tavern in Campania with its simple fish, moderate evening sea breeze, and a complex hangover. But with a few plates from Deruta you will want to go for that romantic palazzo-themed dinner. Just throw in a bottle of wine and some flowers and mix gently.

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