Vietri Pottery is one of the products d’excellence of the Amalfi Coast.
If you have decided to visit the Amalfi Coast, start your journey from Vietri sul Mare and discover Vietri pottery!
Vietri sul Mare
Situated a few kilometres from our bed and breakfast, Vietri sul Mare is a pretty village suspended between the sea and the sky, dotted with terracotta tiled house and coloured-tiled churches which overlook the small Bonea valley at the end of the Sorrento peninsula. It was an ancient Etruscan town going by the name, Marcina, which then passed to the Samnites, the Lucanians and to the Romans, under whom it gained prosperity. It was destroyed by the Vandals and rose again under the Longobards, at various times being settled by the Saracens. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Sitein 1997. As part of the Amalfi Coast, Vietri concentrates culture, history and centuries-old traditions which range from craftwork to the culinary arts.
Vietri is famous for its pottery, a craft dating back to ancient times and which has been perfected over the centuries to produce objects which are true masterpieces, admired the world over. Vietri pottery is everywhere in this village, wallking through its small streets you frequently come across buildings decorated in splendid tiles or numerous workshops, exhibiting and selling pottery objects.Apart from the classic souvenir plates are tiles, trays, small cups for ‘limoncello’, lanterns, ashtrays and ‘perfumed bowls’ impregnated with the odours of the Amalfi Coast.Vietri has dedicated to spaces to its pottery art: the Vietri pottery museum, located within the Villa Guariglia complex in Raito, where typical Vietri pottery is exhibited alongside other examples of Campania and Southern Italian pottery and the Manuel Cargaleiro Museum, found in the historical Palace of the Carosino Dukes where there is also an exhibition of works by artists from all countries of the Mediterranean.
Vietri has long been, since ancient times when it was called Marcina, a seaside village. Today this ancient Etruscan coastal town offers some of the largest and loveliest beaches on the Amalfi Coast. The most famous is the Crestarella Beach, a smallish beach overlooked by a historical Saracen tower and facing the “Two Brothers”, a particular rocky formation which is similar to small sea stacks which are steeped in legend. To the right of this beach lies the Marina, whose beach is divided into two parts by the Bonea River. Here there are the bathing beaches on one side and the free beach on the other side, ensuring a pleasant welcome for all tourists. Of special interest is Marina di Albori, an upper district of Vietri with a current population of 350 people and considered one of the most beautiful small villages in Italy.
Many historical, architectural and artistic examples remain of its glorious past. The main monument is the Church of S. Giovanni Battista in the heart of Vietri, dedicated to its patron saint and erected some time in the 17th century in late Neapolitan renaissance style. The church, built on an old structure dating back to the 11th century is surmounted by a marvellous dome, covered in coloured tiles. Among the other monuments and places of interest should be mentioned the Oratory dell’Arci confraternita della SS. Annunziata e del SS. Rosario, within which you can admire the painting of master Filippo Pennini of Benevento, an elegant example of Vietri tiling from 1864 and the wooden chairs from the beginning of the 18th century. The Church of the Madonna degli Angeli, is also worth visiting as it is here where the feast of the Virgin of the angels is celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. See too the Church of S.Maria delle Grazie in Raito, which is full of works of art: the Sanctuary of S. Vincenzo in Dragonea, which attracts both pilgrims and walkers and the Solimene Ceramica building, which was designed by the architect Paolo Soleri after the second world war along the lines of the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Vietri is not only famous for its Vietri pottery. Because of its cultural associations and the richness of its local traditions, Vietri puts on a large number of events and festivals, amongst which are the Feast of the patron saint, San Giovanni Battista in June, in a climate of festivity and devotion where there are processions and fireworks, the “Summer concerts in Villa Guariglia“, a festival of classical music and jazz, and the Annual National Fin Swimming Race, which is held along a stretch of coast from Vietri to Cetara.