Objects of Desire: Calabrian Ceramics


Archaeological digs have revealed that pots, pitchers and plates for domestic use were created in Calabria by Phoenician settlers 3,500 years ago, while figurines and statues were later produced by the Greeks and Romans for religious purposes. Today, many Calabrian towns still have working ateliers.

La Bottega d’Arte Il Tornio

La Bottega d’Arte Il Tornio in Squillace, Italy
La Bottega d’Arte Il Tornio in Squillace, Italy - Salvatore Migliari / Wikimedia Commons

The foremost destination for ceramics is Squillace, 17 miles southwest of the region’s capital, Catanzaro. The terra-cotta pottery produced there has been well-known for centuries and is a handicraft sought after by visitors. Objects made according to the tecnica dell’ingobbio are particularly appreciated; this technique involves covering a terra-cotta piece with a fine layer of white clay and then removing it in lacy decorative patterns. One of the best ceramics shops in Squillace is La Bottega d’Arte Il Tornio, which carries a variety of ingobbio pottery, plus colorful glazed pieces.

La Bottega d’Arte Il Tornio
Viale Fuori Le Porte 46/48, Squillace Antica

Enzo Ferraro

A ceramic piece by Enzo Ferraro
A ceramic piece by Enzo Ferraro - Ceramics of Seminara, Enzo Ferraro

In Seminara, a town about 25 miles northeast of Reggio Calabria, artist Enzo Ferraro produces both traditional baroque-style designs, including babbuini pottery featuring grotesque figures of animals and flowers, as well as contemporary ones. Studio visits are by appointment only.

Enzo Ferraro
Via Luzzati 1, Seminara. Tel. (39) 347-001-1846

Benito Badolato

In Tropea, ceramic artist Benito Badolato creates Nativity scenes and delicate figurines representing the traditional occupations of Calabria, including orange-picker, fisherman, cheesemaker, farmer and others. His work has tremendous charm.

Benito Badolato
Via Pietro Ruffo di Calabria, 9. Tropea. Tel. (39) 338-945-7304

Read more about our editor’s trip to Calabria

By Hideaway Report Editor Hideaway Report editors travel the world anonymously to give you the unvarnished truth about luxury hotels. Hotels have no idea who the editors are, so they are treated exactly as you might be.

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