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  • Writer's pictureThe Sicilian Wanderer

The wonderful ceramics of Caltagirone: the charm of art and tradition

Head from Caltagirone

Caltagirone is a wonderful town in Sicily that is famous worldwide for its beautiful handmade ceramics. These unique works of art have been created by local craftsmen for centuries and are a true symbol of Sicilian tradition and culture.

The crafting of Caltagirone ceramics is an ancient art that requires great skill and passion. The artisans, often family-run, work with terracotta to create unique shapes and decorations. The pieces are then left to dry and subsequently fired in special ovens, giving life to beautiful, resilient, and long-lasting ceramics.

The colors used are bright and iridescent, from the warm shades of red, orange, and yellow to the cooler shades of blue and green. The decorations range from geometric and floral patterns to depictions of everyday life scenes and symbols of Sicilian culture, such as the Trinacria or Sicilian carts.

Caltagirone ceramics are also characterized by unique shapes, from classic forms of plates and vases to more imaginative creations like statues, lamps, and bell towers. These works of art are appreciated worldwide and have become an icon of Sicilian artisan tradition.

If you visit Caltagirone, you cannot miss a visit to the Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte, a monumental staircase of 142 steps, entirely decorated with beautiful ceramic tiles. This staircase was built in the 18th century and is one of the most representative symbols of the city.

In short, the ceramics of Caltagirone are a marvel of Sicilian craftsmanship, unique in their kind, and capable of enchanting anyone who admires them.

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"Explore the world-renowned ceramics of Caltagirone, Sicily. Discover the charm of art and tradition in these unique works of art, from vibrant colors to unique shapes and symbols of Sicilian culture."


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Santa Maria del monte Caltagirone

The legend of the heads of Caltagirone

Is a fascinating and colorful story intertwined with the ceramic tradition of this Sicilian town. The famous ceramic heads, often depicting a pair of lovers, have a romantic and somewhat melancholic history behind them.

It is told that once, in a picturesque alley of Caltagirone, lived a beautiful girl who spent her days looking out from her balcony. One day, a young and charming Turk passed through that street and fell hopelessly in love with the girl. The two began to see each other in secret, but their love was destined not to last. The girl's father, discovering the forbidden love, decided to put an end to the relationship. In a fit of rage, he killed the young Turk and, to ensure that his daughter would never forget the lesson, had two ceramic vases made in the likeness of the two lovers. From that moment on, the ceramic heads became a symbol of Caltagirone and its ceramic tradition. Today, these captivating creations are a sought-after souvenir by tourists and a tribute to local art and craftsmanship. The heads of Caltagirone are a perfect example of how a legend can come to life through art. With their smiling faces and blushing cheeks, they represent eternal and unconditional love, but also a warning about the fleeting and sometimes tragic nature of love.

Visit Caltagirone, and you won't help but notice these wonderful ceramic creations, a true tribute to love, art, and tradition. And who knows, perhaps you'll take home a pair of heads, a tangible reminder of a love story that continues to live through art.


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