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History of Classic Deruta Pottery Designs

Deruta, Italy


Deruta Pottery was first produced in the 12th century, found its artistic peak in the 15th century and has since maintained a very high level of excellence. Today you can find artistic Majolica production, the name for Italian ceramics, in many small towns throughout all of Italy but Deruta Pottery (Majolica di Deruta, in Italian) is the most famous of all.


 If you drive from Roma, or from Florence, (same distance from both cities: 100 miles), you will cross the beautiful region of Umbria, “green heart of Italyand you will reach Deruta located about 5 miles south of Perugia. The medieval district of Deruta sits on the hill and below in the modern town, you will see dozens of Majolica showrooms with their gorgeous Deruta Pottery displayed in large windows. When you enter into any of the showrooms, you will be greeted by a smile from someone, who probably was just painting in the backroom, and happy to answer your questions and, if requested, give you a tour of their studio.


Deruta Pottery 

Once you have visited some studios on the mile long stretch road where most studios are now located, drive or walk up to the old part of town on top of the hill, to enjoy, not only the views but many more unique Majolica boutiques, the school for Ceramic Arts located behind the ancient St. Francis Church, and the Ceramic Museum dedicated to the history and development of Deruta Pottery. Definitely worth a visit if you are a lover of Italian majolica.


When Biordi Art Imports was founded in 1946, Emilio Biordi would travel to Deruta to select the best representation of what we now know as the “Classic Deruta Designs.” There are six designs that form the foundation of Italian ceramics and capture the elegance of Italy’s traditional tableware.  From the elegant Antico Deruta to the vibrant Rafaellesco and timeless beauty of Ricco Deruta, each pattern offers a unique design while being distinctively Deruta.  All Classic Deruta pottery are produced by a single workshop FIMA, known for the exquisite detail in every design.


Biordi Art Imports has been a driving force in popularizing Deruta’s best artists: artisans like Maioliche Grazia, Cama, Fima, Franco Mari, Luciana Mari, Francesca Niccacci, Eugenio Ricciarelli, Geribi, Pia Formato, Domiziani, M.O.D. are just a few of the artists Biordi has been carrying for many, many years. 


 We hope that you have the good luck to own special pieces from these artisans, they are precious family heirlooms to use, to grace your home but especially to cherish forever.


Deruta, Italy Ceramics