You'll find many different styles of pottery in Vietri. While the stores near the main tourist center tend to carry a lot of the same merchandise, the practiced eye will notice that each store has some pieces and styles unique to only that store. I tend to think of Vietri as having four distinct styles, represented by these large wall plates.
The first style is a florid style, like Persian rugs, combined with the intricate geometric patterns coming out of North Africa. The second style is folk art. The third style is three dimensional, with brightly colored figures jutting out of the plate. (I don't have a professional lighting setup, so this effect is hard to capture.) The fourth style is religious art. The first two styles are more typical of dinner wear and home accessories. The second two styles are harder to find, and will typically be found only on large (30" or more) plates meant to be used as decorations.
This is an example of a tile clock found in Vietri. In a shop in Georgetown I've seen Italian tile clocks from Deruta, much less intricate than this, that cost over $200. This one cost a fraction of that price in Vietri. When I got it home, I noticed I couldn't see the hands from across the room. The hands were black, and they blended into the background. The liberal use of White Out fixed that problem.
This is a vase I picked up in a little shop on the Amalfi coast highway. When I say on the highway, I almost mean that literally. There was nowhere to park; the back end of my car jutted out onto the highway. The old man who ran the shop sneered at Vietri. He was an artisan, he told me, while those people in Vietri made everything exactly the same. Not exactly true, but he did have a point. You'll never find another piece exactly like this one. I bought it for 50 dollars, but I wouldn't sell it for ten times the price.
Sign our Guestbook
Last edited on May 22, 2004