VIETRI SUL MARE, THE CAPITAL OF CERAMICS
Vietri sul Mare is the first pearl of the Amalfi Coast coming from Salerno. It was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1997 and it will offer you a unique experience. Its breathtaking views and ceramics (a symbol of this territory), make this town a real jewel.
by Annalisa Russo
If you are on the Amalfi Coast for a few days, you can’t leave without visiting Vietri sul Mare, the capital of ceramics. The historic centre is a magical place where the pottery plays a starring role. The main street, Corso Umberto I, can be a good starting point for your tour: it crosses the whole town including the two belvederes which will offer you wonderful views.
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Vietri - Villa comunale
The symbols of Vietri
Get lost among the colors of the pottery shops and enjoy the beautiful Vietri ceramics: dishes, vases and various decorative objects with brilliant colors. They are handcrafted by local artisans with passion and dedication. This could be a great opportunity to buy some souvenirs.
The ceramic donkey is one of the symbols of the Vietri pottery, as a matter of fact, in the past this animal was essential to get around in the narrow streets of the Amalfi Coast or to carry stuff. Then, since we are talking about handcrafted production, I strongly suggest you not to miss the opportunity of taking home some one-of-a-kind pieces!
If you want to know more about pottery, leave the town centre and reach Villa Guariglia, the ceramic museum in the village of Raito.
Here you’ll see displayed many handcrafted products, from the 17th century to the second half of the 20th century.
The Villa Comunale and the Solimene factory
Then, if you continue along Corso Umberto I, you will reach the Villa Comunale and the Solimene Factory. You will surely be charmed by the majesty of the factory.
The Solimene ceramic factory was projected by the architect Paolo Soleri in the 50s, and today is an Italian company with a centuries-old tradition that exports its products all over the world. Its facade will surprise you!
Then, going inside the Villa Comunale, just a few steps away from the Solimene Factory, you will really feel in another place, especially if you love to travel and you have been in Catalonia.
The Villa Comunale is the perfect expression of Vietri ceramics and recalls the architectural shapes of the Parc Güell in Barcelona. The handrails and walls covered with colorful ceramic tiles, make this place unique. Its amphitheater, especially during the spring and the summer, hosts cultural and artistic events.
If you want to relax and take some pictures, this is the place for you. The landscape will leave you breathless.
The Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista and its majolica dome
Therefore, the link between Vietri sul Mare and the pottery is clear and indissoluble, this is the reason why I have a question for you. When you arrived, what did you see first?
It was almost for sure the dome of the cathedral with its brilliant colors which overlooks the town. Climbing up the narrow streets of the historic centre, in its highest point, there is in fact the square where the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista stands.
The cathedral dedicated to San Giovanni Battista, the patron saint of the town, is one of the symbols of Vietri sul Mare and it dates from the 10th century. It was destroyed by saracens and renovated several times over the centuries. Today it has a sixteenth century facade and a baroque interior. The most striking feature is the majolica dome, another symbol for Vietri sul Mare.
This dome, visible from several points of the town, together with the bell tower is covered with bright yellow, green and blue majolica tiles, commonly used to decorate the domes of the Amalfi Coast. If you decide to come here to give the cathedral a closer look, do not forget that also the Arciconfraternita della Santissima Annunziata e del Santissimo Rosario is worth a visit.
- If you have spare time, go down until Marina di Vietri. Going down toward the beach, near the police station, there is a narrow street that stands out for its colors. It is famous on social media and it will offer you many instagrammable pictures.
- Along the seafront, you will see two rocks, the famous Due fratelli, also known as Faraglioni di Vietri.
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