The Ceramics Road in Umbria: from Gubbio to Gualdo Tadino - The Ceramics Road in Umbria: from Gubbio to Gualdo Tadino
The Ceramics Road in Umbria: from Gubbio to Gualdo Tadino
Welcome to Gubbio: up and down the town centre there are a series of art workshops on Via dei Consoli, Via XX Settembre and the access roads to Piazza Grande (or Pensile). If you're not here for the crossbow (there is a dedicated school the only one in Italy along with that in Sansepolcro) stay in the square for a visit to the Town museum: a collection of archaic majolica (XIV c.), artefacts from the nineteenth century, passing from the red and golden lustre of Mastro Giorgio (XVI sec.) and the pharmaceutical pottery, including original terracotta red alembic domes.
The people from Gubbio engage in a fun activity ... together with their pottery art during the Corsa dei Ceri race, when each of the Capodieci (team captains) is raised up and launches a Gubbio ceramic jug into the crowd, while those present vie for the fragments of the same jug, which brings good luck!
For lunch, sample pasta rolled out and smoothed by hand and embellished with white truffle, the prince of the area. For something different, crescia con il friccò (chicken alla cacciatora reinvented).
Set off for Gualdo Tadino, passing through San Marco, Torre dei Calzolari and Branca. Most of the factories are in the outlying areas of the town. There are some shops in the centre, before entering the Rocca Flea and the Museo Civico, then we retrace the interesting history of ceramics in Gualdo.
The real star of the lustre technique is the Muffola: a special kiln for the third fire fuelled by bundles of broom, a very common plant in the Gualdese Apennines, particularly suitable for producing the required smoke which generates the magnificent metallic lustres. Some examples can still be seen in the former convent of San Francesco, in Via delle Fornaci and Via Discepoli. Leaving Gualdo on the main Flaminia road, head towards Nocera for the last leg of your tour, the church of Madonna del Piano: you can still admire twenty-six vibrant ruby red tiles, probably from the seventeenth century, of which four examples are preserved in the Louvre Museum.