Wednesday, 12 May 2010

An Esthetic Feast: prima Trudi E.

Deviating slightly from the subject of French faience todays blog is from our guest blogger, QCI member, Trudi and her subject: Italian ceramic tiles.

This spring our trip from our French home started on the small Italian island of Capri, which is 5 km from the mainland on the South side of the Bay of Naples. It has been a celebrated beauty spot and resort for artists, writers and celebrities since the later half of the 19th Century, and has inspired many of their works.

Upon arriving in Capri, after a one hour ferry from Naples, we experienced the first of its very narrow, steep and windy roads on route to our B&B in the small hilltop village of Anacapri.
We were greeted by panoramic views of the bay and a gorgeous sunset.

The next day we were pleasantly surprised to discover that, in addition to the dramatic scenery and delicious food, there were many citrus groves of large lemons and oranges growing on mountainside terraces next to numerous grape arbors. We enjoyed tasting an array of these delicious fruits.
In addition to an abundance of commercial pottery, we were delighted to see how prolific their original and detailed painted ceramic tiles were used to create beautiful wall murals, signs and benches.

After leaving Capri on a small private boat, we traveled by sea along the rugged and scenic Amalfi coast. We stopped at several grottos, where the water and the reflection of light created a kaleidoscope of dramatic color.
Within an hour we arrived at our next port in the small and picturesque town of Positano.
It is perched on the face of a mountain with colorful buildings stacked in tiers on the cliffs, and hundreds of steep stairs instead of streets.
Our first visual delight was the Majolica multicolored tile dome of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta.

This tourist destination was featured in several movies, most recently in “Under the Tuscan Sun”.

From here one can take a one hour side trip to Pompeii by public transportation.
Our next stop was Praiano, a 20 minute car ride from Positano.

In this little village is the Church of San Luca Evangelista, with its dome decorated with the local Vietri multicolored Majolica tiles and an elaborate painted tile floor.

I hope you have enjoyed this first part of our journey and will join me again soon for the seconda parte.


  1. Goodness Trudi, you are certainly visiting the fashionable spots....
    Love the tiles, their colours are so vibrant...

  2. Trudi, thanks for taking us along. We've talked of doing this trip. I'll look forward to your posts as you continue to share this trip. ~ Sarah

  3. Trudi,
    I love to hear of the wonderful places you and Neil visit and delight in. Looking forward to part 2!

  4. Trudi, you are for sure a world traveler, I would love to be a fly on the wall and see all those places. I read all the Frances Mayes books, including Under the Tuscan Sun, so this is
    most interesting. Love the tiles.

  5. Hi, Trudi & Neil, you are not so "far" from France in more than one way...remember where the French got their knowledge of how to make faïence---it was from the Italians!...happy travels! Laverne

  6. How fabulous those beautiful tile creations are! How wonderful that you could see them and that you were kind enough to share them with your friends! It is great to be able to "live vicariously.! Thanks, Trudi.