Vietri sul Mare, Italy is on the southern side of the Sorrento Peninsula, just at the beginning of this promontory and to the west of Salerno and can easily be visited on a private yacht charter. While Vietri sul Mare is on the Mediterranean Sea and a short harbor visit might be possible, the closest real dockage is in Salerno, just to the east on the coast. Vietri sul Mare, Italy, is the true “mother lode” of Italian hand painted ceramics. The main road of Vietri is lined with shops and “factorias”, where ceramic objects of all sizes, shapes and purposes, are being made, hand painted and sold.
Craftsmen in the town of Vietri have been producing ceramics since the Medieval period and ceramic production is still the main town industry. The production of ceramics is so important to the town of Vietri and the craftsmen located there, that the brand name is now protected and only ceramics made in Vietri can carry the Vietri name.
While many different patterns are painted under the auspices of Vietri ceramics, most contain the Mediterranean local colors of blue, green and yellow and often are painted with lemons, or Mediterranean marine life seen locally. You may see the painters hard at work painting these designs in part of a shop, such as at the Iovine Shop where a hand painted dinner service is created with a distinctive marine life design.
It is a fascinating experience to not only see such a wide and lovely variety of hand painted pottery, but to also be able to watch the various craftsmen while they paint. For an additional cost, special orders are accepted hand painted with custom touches, such as a set of dinner ware, hand painted with your family name added. And, as always, when shopping at the source, the prices are well worth taking the time to come to this little town.
Shopping: The town people’s main purpose is the creation and hand painting of ceramics, often in timeless Italian designs. Walk through the town first, as there is shop after shop displaying beautiful ceramics of all kinds. When walking through, try to spot individual artists, their styles, and color palette to choose from the best. Shops can be for one artist where all is made and painted or can be a shop selling finished ceramics from various artists. And customized ceramics are very easy to have made and shipped. The town feels like an open-air showroom.
If you are a hand painted ceramics aficionado, Vietri Sul Mare should be included during a crewed yacht charter along the Amalfi Coast. And don’t worry, they are happy to ship anything purchased.