Tuscan traditions – Ceramics&Terracotta in Tuscany

A great thing to do in Tuscany!

The word ‘terracotta’ actually comes from the Italian ‘terra’ for ‘earth’ and ‘cotta’ for cooked. The tradition dates back to Etruscan times when the land was first moulded by expert hands into utensils, bowls and other forms.

Throughout the centuries, Tuscan Villa estates would use terracotta containers to store their precious olive oil. Above the wine cellar, there would be an entire level dedicated to holding Tuscany’s famed ‘liquid gold’.

Wine would also have been stored in terracotta containers, and indeed we recently enjoyed  a wine tasting in Tuscany on a private wine tour where the estate was returning to the use of terracotta vats.

Certain traditional Tuscan dishes are perfectly prepared using terracotta contains, including Tuscany’s famous Onion Soup ? said to have been taken to France by the chef of Catherine de’ Medici upon her marriage to the French Henry II.

Gardens, balconies and windowsills are traditionally adorned with an assortment of flower- and herb-filled terracotta pots.

In terms of the less useful but certainly much more beautiful, artisans have been crafting terracotta and ceramics into beautiful objects of art and style.

This 25-26 June, 2011, in the small and charming town of Montelupo Fiorentino is a great thing to do in Tuscany. The exhibition/market event, ‘Le Forme Delle Terra’, is taking place from 10am to midnight as part of a XIX edition of the ceramics festival, La Festa della Ceramica.

Displaying artworks by a host of well-renowned local and international artists, it adds another just reason to visit this charming area.

Montelupo Fiorentino can be found just outside of Florence when heading towards Siena. Famed for its ceramics production, which have been made here since Etruscan times.

In the last twenty years, much effort has been put into the excavation of Palaeolithic sites discovered in the area. There was also a period of Roman inhabitation here, before the area was abandoned for some time as the townsfolk headed for the hills, seeking refuge from periods of turmoil.

With the growth of Florence, Montelupo Fiorentino was again populated, and nowadays you can find a charming and peaceful town nestled in the Tuscan countryside.

From the 18-26 June, 2011, Montelupo Fiorentino is also hosting the ‘TRECOLORI’ (or, ‘tricolour’ ? in honour of the Italian flag) event. Ceramic artists will be displaying works with a ‘trecolori’ theme, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Italy.

One of our lovely, wonderful Have fun learning about the amazing history of Florence and the characters that made it so on our small-group Original Florence Walk tour tour guides is actually exhibiting at these events. You may also be privileged enough to tour the The Masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery small-group skip-the-line tour with him, or perhaps see the most famous sculpture in the world, Michelangelo’s David, in our small-group small-group The Original David Tour. Combined, these Florence guided tours make the Florence in One Glorious Day discounted Florence tour package.

If you’d like to tread the earthy hillsides of Tuscany, we have Perfect Morning in Tuscany tour. Leaving from Florence’s city centre and heading to the surrounding countryside, this small-group walking tour includes, well, walking in Tuscany, as well as lunch with wine at a stunning Renaissance Villa Estate, accompanied by an expert tour guide.

If you would like to immerse yourself in the Tuscan wine country, including wine tasting and lunch in a stunning Tuscan villa estate, we have a small-group Best of Tuscany tour visiting Siena, San Gimignano and Monteriggioni. See the highlights of Tuscany in one spectacular day tour from Florence ? the Best of Tuscany.

Visit www.italy.artviva.com for more information, or email staff@artviva.com.

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