Since the Italians introduced us to Deruta ceramics, we have been lucky enough to see the amazing skill and talent of their masterful artisans. Their intricate designs give an old classical look, which is greatly appreciated even in the modern times. Most of their designs can be seen in plates, which are both used for eating and sometimes as home decorations. Besides being used for serving food, I see it as an excellent décor that adds drama to every room you place it in. Let’s not forget that these items are made to stand the test of time! You can give them to your kids or grandkids as heirloom, surviving the years to come.

For those who wish to buy a number of these hand painted masterpieces, finding a perfect design to match your taste might seem a bit difficult. It might feel overwhelming, as if you want to buy plates in every design. Of course, everything is beautiful! Worry no more because I have rounded up some design collections from some of Italy’s finest hand painted ceramics brands (Deruta Italy and Artistica) for you to choose from.

#1 Raffaellesco Collectionhand painted italian plates

One of the most well-known and continuing Italian maiolica patterns, the classic “Raffaellesco” links its origin back to the 16th century, and the elegant arabesques of Raphael’s famous fresco paintings.

The ritualistic dragon of the plate’s central concept was ostensibly illustrated first by Raphael, a masterful artiste and architect of the Italian High Renaissance. Raffaellesco is an altruistic divine being who gives out good fortune and calm winds to seafaring merchants, hence the blows of air coming from the dragon’s mouth. With the details mostly light colors, these ceramics will look nice against your dark table mantles.

#2 Vecchia Deruta Collection

hand painted decorative platesIf you liked Raffaellesco, you should see this collection. Similarly made by painting extraordinaire Raphael, Vecchia deruta (also known as Old Deruta) is a more luxurious and more formal rendition of the famous “Ricco Deruta” impression. With scalloped rim plates, a dominant royal blue trim adds more depth to the design.

#3 Fruttina Collection

fruttina collectionIf you love how fruits look in dinnerware, the Fruttina collection won’t disappoint. Peaches, leaves and pears spruce up the edges of Fruttina dinnerware. Soft hues of warm green and yellows make a pattern that works for everyday use. It is also fitting for formal occasions so if you happen to have one of these, they will always have a purpose and not just a décor.

#4 Ricco Collection

DerutaDeruta’s most prominent design, this is the true original version traces its origins back to the sixteenth century. Hand painted with sophisticated hues like royal blue, yellow gold and emerald green, I advise using these for special occasions. Eating with this dinnerware will make you feel like royalty in every sense of the word.

#5 Giada Collection

Ricco DerutaThe Giada (Jade) pattern features intertwining Acanthus leaves painted in delicate aqua color tones, a pattern that is commonly found in 15th Century Italian Catholic churches and cathedrals.

#6 Celeste Collection

Italian ceramicsCompared to the other collections, the Celeste collection is the most sophisticated-looking. It takes you back to the Renaissance era with its intricate details. Its rich colors create a vibrant and modern take on the classical designs we usually see in hand painted Deruta dinnerware. I can imagine your dining table coming alive with these pieces!

#7 Orvieto Collection

Umbria ceramic pieces

How about getting a design with a more deep-rooted history? Orvieto is a very ancient and traditional design that began during the Renaissance era in the hill-top town of Orvieto – Italy. Indeed one of Italy’s most distinctive and fascinating cities, Orvieto has a charismatic old-fashioned character. It’s mainly attributable to its renowned Cathedral, a treasure of Gothic architecture that took beyond 100 years to construct. The “Galletto” (Rooster) pattern’s main theme is a squawking rooster that embodies good wishes for blessings, affluence and happiness. Now, tell me you don’t want a piece of that.

#8 Principe Collection

Majolica VasesWith “Principe” (Prince) as the name of this collection says it all. These uniquely molded dinner plates with heraldic patterns will add truly regal appearance to your tabletop. You will feel like gods while eating with these plates, as they all come with a delicate, yet stylish scrollwork design signifying the masterful retention of a Deruta classic design. The Principe collection was inspired from designs portrayed in exceptional medieval history encyclopedias.

#9 Faenza Garofano Collection

Italian platesNamed after the renowned city of Faenza, The Faenza ‘Garofano’ pattern is a true Italian masterpiece. To give you a gist of its history, Faenza is by cultural tradition defined as City of the Ceramics, lying 30 miles south of Bologna in the northeast part of Italy. While it is  an agricultural and an industrial center, it owes its renown to the manufacturing of ceramics. You see, history has it that Marco Polo (Venezia 1254-1324) brought the Garofano design from the Orient in 1279 (together with the pasta). Developed in the Italian county of Lombardia, it went on to become a celebrated ‘signature-pattern’ in the Majolica town of Faenza. The part of Faenza in the industry of ceramics is eminent: its name, in the French version ‘Faience’, has meant for eras as an esteemed kind of ceramics. According to what I have learned, no other ceramics-producing city has done such success. What’s unique about this collection is that it is the only collection without a pure white background glazing. Curious to know why? This high-end collection is manufactured using the same color tones and design similar to the original antique pieces. The background is a very (very) light Gray.

#10 Antico Deruta Collection

Antico DerutaRemember the Ricco Deruta pattern? In years, the Antico Deruta collection has always been measured to be the most formal representation of the Ricco Deruta pattern. Its classic “Arabesque” decorative form is made of rhythmic, curvilinear designs painted in a unique mixture of regal blue and bright yellow. The foliated scrollwork theme featured in this collection was also applied in the architectural adornments of late Roman and Renaissance periods. Spending a few more bucks for this beauty is worth it, as it can be a good conversation piece for your kitchen as well.

One other choice of collections you need to see is from DishesOnly. Take a look at these designs I personally liked:

#1 Mosaico Collection

MajolicaFor those who want safe collection designs, this one is for you. Mosaico is a lavish and genuinely Italian pottery emphasized by a Classical Greek mosaic design, improved by the skilled craftsmen of Fasano Ceramiche into a contemporary “rustic-chic” effect. I recommend using the refined Mosaico dinner set for hosting gatherings inside or outdoors. The one of a kind inscribed pattern on the edge of each dish varies and it demonstrates clear tell-tale signs of the small hand-painted tiles. The terracotta rim adds intensity and a delightful accent to the hip and elegant red and brown hues.

#2 Arcobaleno Collection

handmade Italian ceramicsCan’t get enough of rainbows? How about bold striking pattern of colors? You need to see this collection exclusively sold in DishesOnly. It is a tribute to Op-Art, with its name, Arcobaleno  a direct translation of  rainbow in English. This pattern is clearly different from the other ones, but I liked how it gives a breath of fresh air in this selection I provided. The bright color swirls and the punchy motif of the Arcobaleno dinner plates result in a contemporary and hypnotic look. Hand-painted with effervescent and glittering hues, Arcobaleno are exciting, uplifting and joyful dinner plates best suited for a happy home. Get this, you even have the option to customize it according to your favorite rim and center colors!

#3 Buongiorno Collection

Italian CannistersFor most of us living in a fast-paced environment with less time for de-stressing, sometimes we want a reminder of how relaxing even just for a little bit can do wonders. .I personally liked this piece for its calming look, especially when paired with a perfect breakfast before jumpstarting your day in the hectic world.

The Buongiorno breakfast set has a soft, graceful purity, stunningly crafted in stoneware and hand painted by Italian artists with nature and serenity in mind. The perfectly imperfect strokes and the fascinating detailing, all uniquely executed, are entirely handmade. You’ll like this set even more because included is a one-of-a-kind cup, plus a plate and cereal bowl. They work best together because of the complementing designs. And may I also add, despite the ceramic material, every piece is lightweight! You also have a choice from denim blue or hazelnut brown, both neutral tones perfect for everyday use. You can mix and match them as well, which is why this is a winner for me. For more warmth and coziness to your table, I recommend combining Buongiorno with wooden accessories.

What are your thoughts on Italian hand painted plates? They might be a bit pricey, but knowing how they are painstakingly and stunningly made makes me wish I can buy a lot of them. They are truly worth saving up for, that’s for sure.

 Italian CeramicsI was looking for another hobby to try this month, so I tried browsing the web to search for projects that I can do at home without busting my wallet. When I saw ceramic painting projects, I felt ecstatic since I haven’t tried these yet. Before anything else though, what exactly is “Ceramics”? Ceramic materials are used by pottery makers to mold porcelain, artifacts, stoneware, and tableware to name a few. Most people take up ceramic arts as hobby, while there are others who really take time mastering the skill for themselves or as a means of income. This kind of art form is seen in many cultures around the world, each with their unique style. However, the Chinese people seem to take ceramic or porcelain making to another level.  With the help of some documentaries and instructional videos in the web, we are exposed to how ceramic painting really works. Most of us have learned how to conceal a once broken ceramic tableware with only pottery-painting skills.

Making Italian ceramics is not as complicated as it seems. With the use of clay and other relevant materials, you can create any shape you desire. How is that possible? While spinning in a circular motion, the clay is molded by your hands according to the shape you want it to be. On the other hand, ceramic making may not be the germophobe’s cup of tea. Your bare hands are consistently exposed to clay, dirt, mud and in sometimes cow or animal dung. Doing this art requires you to always keep your hands squeaky clean when not working. It is imperative that the fingernails are kept short as to prevent bacteria and fungi from residing in them. Pottery-making might have a few limitations compared to other art forms but I hope this doesn’t intimidate you! It’s a relaxing craft and will be enjoyed by the kids and the kids-at-heart. Not in to touching mud but still interested with this art? Why not try painting Italian ceramics?

Here I rounded up several creative examples of pottery art inspirations you can use in making your own do-it-yourself ceramic painting at home.

#1 Forming dots to create a pattern Italian Ceramics

This method works well with strong, bold colors against white ceramics. All you do is lightly draw the design you want to create using a pencil. This will serve as your guide. Afterwards, you use dots to fill in the design. Pretty simple, huh? You can also just paint the dots away randomly for that abstract look.

#2 Fun striped juice pitcher Italian Ceramics

To achieve that matte, chic look, use a black chalkboard spray paint for this project. Spray it evenly across the surface, and leave to dry. Once dry, you can let your imagination run wild and paint over spirals or even quotes from your favorite movies. Use white paint for a more dramatic effect.

#3 Color contrasted tea cups

 Italian CeramicsIf you have plain tea cups sitting around your cupboard, this is a design you can use to give them a little bit more character. A bit similar to the idea I’ve mentioned above, here you will apply paint using a sponge for that blurred effect.

#4 Cute family photo illustration with pottery paintingcustomized ceramics

The kids will definitely enjoy this idea, because they can draw the family members using stick figures in a porcelain plate. Mom and dad can also help adding more details to the project, making it an awesome family bonding moment! This is one idea the whole household will appreciate without any body feeling left out.

#5 Painted canisters for home use

italian canister setsInstead of buying a new multicolored canister, why not buy a blank one and paint it yourself? This DIY will hone your detailing skills because you will use a fine brush. A canister looks better with more details so grab your small paintbrush and paint, scout the internet for patterns and try recreating them yourself. If your hand is not that steady, you can opt for stencils which you can buy at your local school supplies store. Now, your masterpiece can be used for decorative or functional purposes.

#6 Leaf pattern

italian ceramic leavesIllustrating a leaf in your ceramic flatware is made easy in this tutorial. First, you dip your brush to the paint. Lightly press the brush tip to the piece. Gently press the brush down, pulling the brush hairs down on the piece to flatten and create a teardrop shape. Carefully lift the brush to end the teardrop shape with a fine, sharp point. Shade the brushstroke you created using a darker hue. Use the same technique over the teardrop shape you made, to create depth and dramatic effect. With the aid of a smaller brush, you can add more details to the leaf for a more realistic look.

#7 Splattering

customized italian ceramicsThis DIY will be a bit messy, so I recommend you do this outdoors most especially if you are going to paint a bigger ceramic piece. To achieve a splatter effect, start by dipping a generous amount of any paint color of your choice to the brush. Make sure that the paint is the consistency of milk for a better effect. Now for the exciting part, hold your brush several inches far from the piece and run your fingertips through the bristles. This will produce a fine spatter of color on the base coated ceramic. You have the option of spattering more than one color on the same piece.

#8 Ombré effect

italian mugUsing a natural sponge, dab one coat of any paint color of your choice to the piece of ceramic. Say for example that your desired color is green. Afterwards, dab one coat of darker green above the light green paint. Make sure the colors overlap to have a seamless finish. Go back to the light green shade and repeat. Continue alternating until you have four shades of green up the mug.

For the coffee lovers out there, I made a special segment in this article limited to mugs only. Here are some DIYs for you.

#1 Custom chalkboard mug

italian ceramic mugI’m sure you’ve heard of chalkboard paint in most DIY tutorials, and here is another one you will definitely love. The only materials you’ll need are tape and chalkboard paint. Stick the tape in such a way that the cup is divided into two sides, the upper and lower part. Apply the paint evenly to the bottom area, remove the tape and let it dry. Once dried, you can now write a message which can easily be erased with a damp cloth.

#2 Two-toned coffee mug

ceramic coffee cupLiven up that boring old coffee mug, with this next idea I will give you. To achieve a two colored pattern, use crepe paper to cover the part of the mug you don’t want painted. This is to avoid the paint spilling over to spaces you don’t want. Paint over the empty spaces and voila! You can add as many colors as you like.

#3 Striped mug

ceramic mugStripes are simple patterns that look good even if not perfectly done. For beginners, I advise you to start with this simple method. You will need your chosen porcelain paint color, disposable plate, white coffee mugs, a cup of water and a thin paintbrush. Pour a little paint and dilute it with water, but do it little by little in order to avoid making a watery mess. Paint the strips on the mug carefully using the paintbrush. Note that using tape as a guide is optional because either way, it will look good (Believe me!). Let it dry overnight. Afterwards, bake the mugs for 35 minutes to ensure that it’s dishwasher safe.

#4 Thoughtful messages

handmade italianYou will adore this DIY if you like meaningful messages or quotes. A White mug, some black porcelain paint and a fine brush are all you’ll ever need. Scribble your messages or words in the mug, bake them for 30-35 minutes and there you have it.   When you drink your morning coffee, you’ll be reminded of a beautiful quote that will motivate or inspire you for the whole day.

#5 Elegant gold details

italian giftPersonalize your white mugs with a gold-leaf pen, at the same time making it look elegantly chic. You can draw hearts just in time for Valentine’s day or you can just create beautiful and simple designs. Be careful though, because the design can wipe away. To avoid that from happening, you should put a glaze over it after drawing the design. Always remember to bake it afterwards to set the paint.

#6 His and hers mugshand painted ceramic

This Italian ceramics paint design is as simple as it gets. Armed with only a sharpie and a mug, you can make a high quality mug in a matter of seconds. To create this cute mug makeover, write labels or words meaningful both to you and your partner using any color of sharpie you want. Bake it for around 30 minutes to make it dishwasher safe and permanent as well.

With these tips and ideas, you are now ready to start your ceramic painting hobby with ease and (hopefully) more confidence as well. How was your first DIY? Let us know to inspire others!

handmade italian canistersIf you are interested in Italian products like Italian ceramics canister, then this article can help you in getting some ideas on how to add some art or beauty in your kitchen and living room.

As we, all know Italian ceramics is very popular in many countries, used as a decorative item for enhancing the beauty of the house. This is because of some unique beauty of Italian ceramics. Constructed with extreme delicateness and professionalism, an object that cannot be easily remade. Indeed, it is really a work of art. In some countries, many people duplicated the Italian made product, but no one succeeded on their attempt of replicating the product. As only Italian crafter, know the secrets beyond the true beauty of constructing Italian ceramics. There are many secrets in crafting such a beauty, it goes way back on ancient Italian times, as crafting this product is not easy it needs years of experience and practice to perfectly master it. In addition, it needs some unique imagination to build some art and improve its beauty.

There are three techniques that are involved in making Italian majolica three are listed below:

The Lustre Technique

It is a sophisticated technique in decorating majolica. It is designed with the application of silver, copper and some other substances.

Italian ceramicsThe original recipe of this technique was lost and is the said product cannot be replicated now. Many people tried to make some majolica using some at the same technique, but no one accomplished.

The Spolvero Technique

This technique is used in some ceramics painters to draw some complicated patterns. Spolvero also means as dusting. In fact, the process of designing is dusting that uses a powdered charcoal. It is a very complicated technique it needs delicateness as a simple mistake can ruin the design of your product.

The Istoriato Ware

It is a technique where it produces a story like a design in its final form. It is widely admired in the country. There are many themes that you can find in this kind of majolica, from love, music, tragedy and many more. It is indeed an embodiment of ceramic beauty.

In the first part of this article, I would like to discuss with you some brief history of Italian products, from where it begins, who invented it and etc.

It was around 6500 B.C when this beautiful product made its appearance in our society today. It is composed of three elements earth, water, and fire and is made with the hands of a genius artisan. The art of making ceramics begun when some Ancient Greek potters made some thriving activity at the coast of south Italy.

   This activity started by the local Etruscan and some italic potter’s, it gives rise to rich productive and creative idea. It is between the middle age at the artistically fertile age, that the art of making ceramics flourished, it then transformed the works of the most talented Italian ceramics artists to the art that is present today.

In the second part of our discussion, I would like to discuss our natural house, without some decorative art on it.

Our house is one of the most important things of our life. It is our home where we grow up, a place to rest, a place to dine and it was the beginning of our happy memories. That is why our house is one of the treasures life can offer. Taking care of it is one of the top priorities that we must do. A house without some decoration is lifeless, for example, take out that furniture and curtains, let’s see if your house will still look beautiful. That is why it is very important to decorate it to add some brightness and life into it. Even if you have a beautiful house let us say on the outer part of it, the outside will not cover much if the insides are dirty.

Italian ceramicsFrom my own experience, a friend of mine has a big and wonderful house. I was impressed at first glance, it was well designed. Before entering the house, I told myself that someday, I would buy a house like this. At that time, when I’ve gone inside I was disappointed, it was so plain nothing like the outer part of it and a terrifying part is that it is so dirty. I was shocked! As our house, represent our inner self of how we behave at home and what is the definition of our personality. After that, an Idea comes to my mind, that no matter how beautiful it is on the outside, but the insides are being ignored, it is not beautiful at all. It is just like a relationship, no matter how beautiful your partner is if his/her personality is a mess, then you will not be at peace at all. You will always fight every now and then. My point is if the outer part of your house is beautiful, the inner part must also be more attractive than the outer one. Do you know why? Because the inner part of our house is, where we rest and eat with our family. That is why it needs to be bright.

There are many ways in adding some beauty in your house, like adding some paintings, as paintings is a work of art, it is the personality or the feelings of whoever painted it. That is why it can add some sweet mysterious elegance on your house.

Italian ceramics is also a good choice in designing your house, as Italian vase has a deep mysterious design that emits some ancient aura out of it. It has a well-crafted art that is very beautiful and somewhat interesting on the viewer’s eyes. It makes you wonder on how they build it. How did they design it? In addition, the most important question is that, what’s the meaning of its complicated designs?

In the second part of our discussion, I would like to discuss some Italian work of art that can be a material in your kitchen. When using some materials in your kitchen, silver made products, plastic topper ware is not the only thing that can be used. In terms of beauty, as plastic and silverware products can lessen the effects of brightness in your kitchen as they are so plain and they lack some certain designs. There are some Italian canisters than can be used as not only for designing but also on preserving some food. It is like hitting two birds with one stone. But personally, it is not advisable to use some Italian made products in preserving some food, as washing it can be risky as It may break while you wash it. That is why it is only for designing purposes only; you can put it on some extra space in your kitchen to add some spice of elegance in it, or in your living room, to make it more beautiful.

In terms of dining, there are many alternatives besides using utensils as a material. Italian Ceramics plates can also be used in dining. Italian plates are commonly used in some traditional restaurant to express the tradition of one’s group or tribe into it.

Italian ceramicsIt has a natural elegance that can add up to the beauty of your dining table. In our society today, using some utensils is very common and therefore, we might often think that it is the limit of one’s dining. However, in Italy, there are decorations that are far more beautiful, some alternatives on our day-to-day materials. Therefore,  using some Italian made products can make your place more interesting.

In designing your living room, an Italian vase can be suitable as it can add some beauty and some ancient element in your house.

It the last part of our article, I would like to discuss the conclusion of our article.

From this point, I hope that you’ve understood well about the importance of art in the inner part of your house. In addition, the relevance or the advantage in using some Italian made products in designing your house.

Personally speaking, I think that Italian ceramics has a deep meaning behind it. it is very mysterious, the design is somewhat complicated, that is why it is a good product in designing your house, as a house is the representation of the people who live there.  A house that is unclean and it plain represents the owner’s personality, as he or she has no sense of beauty, or no sense of being, and the lack of life in his soul.

I hope that this article has given you some information that can be useful in decorating your house. Always remember that the beauty within is more important than the beauty outside. Do not think that your house is beautiful because of its outer appearance, because the outer appearance is not the only thing that counts, for me, the inner part is more important. Despite the size of your house, if its inner part is beautiful then it is considered as a king’s home.

italian giftsDo you have an Italophile in your life? Well, most of us do. It may be your family, a friend or maybe it’s yourself. That person may be someone who is planning a trip to Italy this coming year, someone who embraces his Italian heritage or just someone who appreciates Italian culture so much she expresses it all year long. Christmas season might be months away, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t remember your favorite Italophile by giving him/her a thoughtful present directly from Deruta, Italy. How about that? Regardless of who that person is, I think it makes sense to give you a nice selection of gifts perfect for just about every Italophile you now. Here I will discuss key gift items that the Italophile in your life would be happy to receive. Additionally, you can get ideas here for your upcoming holiday wish list.

Best gifts from Italy with Love

Here I categorized the gift items according to their uses, so scroll down to your heart’s content.

Food/Kitchen

Deruta

 

  1.       Italian Coffee- Italians are huge coffee drinkers, so why not try giving coffee as a gift? It is one of the favorite drinks in Italy which they drink not only for breakfast, but all throughout the day. Illycaffè is one of the well-known coffee brands in Italy.
  2.       Deruta Coffee Mug – Now that you have coffee, have a mug that will match the Italian vibe you want to achieve. Choose an authentic Deruta mug delicately hand painted from Italy. You can also use these colorful coffee mugs as a décor for your home.
  3.       Biscotti Jars – Inspired by classic Italian details, these biscotti jars can hold various types of your favorite cookies or biscuits. You can place these jars in the countertop, with a material of either clear glass or ceramic.
  4.       Ceramic utensils – Have your favorite Italophile eat their pasta with these ceramic utensils hand painted in Deruta.
  5.       Artistic utensil holders – Painstakingly hand painted by Italian artisans, these utensil holders are both beautiful and functional. The hard-work placed in making these utensil holders can equate to the value of your appreciation for the Italophile in your mind.
  6.       Italian ceramic roosters – I personally like this handcrafted ceramic rooster made painted by skilled Italian artists. This authentic Italian ceramic decor sits proudly in every kitchen countertop . It also adds a dramatic effect in the room, and can also serves as a conversational piece.
  7.       Italian wine – Of course, a nice bottle of vino rosso or Italian wine is never an undesirable gift at holiday parties, particularly to someone who fully understands what the Italians have done with the grape throughout the years. You can choose from several varietals, and you can spend as much as $90 depending on the brand. I suggest that you visit your friendly wine merchant at your local market to find the best deal of your choice. Just make sure to do your own research before taking their word as gospel, at the same time ask if they have upcoming wine tastings where you can sample before purchasing one.  
  8.       Perugina Baci Chocolates – Perugia in Italy holds the biggest chocolate festivals in Europe known as “Eurochocolate” annually. It is also the birthplace of Perugina, the big chocolate maker. For a taste of Italy, why not try a box of Perugina Baci Chocolates? This is a great choice because of the decadent taste, because inside each one of these chocolates is a single hazelnut, making you feel like you are in Italy. Its name was derived from “baci” which means “kisses,” making it somewhat the Italian version of the Hershey’s kiss. Of course, the only difference is it’s way better.
  9.       Gelato Maker – Perfect for the hot summer days  or a simple swim at the beach, this gelato maker is a portable machine you can give to your Italophile friend. No need to buy expensive artisan gelato from the stores because they can make it at home in as easy as 1-2-3! This gelato maker is dummy-proof, so everyone can enjoy making cold treats using their own fresh ingredients.
  10.   Nutella – You always see this heaven in a jar in grocery aisles, but who knew you can actually give this as a gift? Any Italophile will surely appreciate this gift because of its rich chocolate taste, and will remind them how sweet your love is for them.

Office supplies & Home décor

Deruta

  1.       Ceramic pens – For the Italophile, an Italian ceramic pen is a must-have. What better way to write Italian phrases by using these luxury pens, right?
  2.       Deruta photo frame – Looking for the best frame to put your photos from your last visit to Italy? You’d love to give this photo frame so much that you’ll end up keeping it! Intricate details of grapevines, Latin script or Italian sceneries envelop this one-of-a kind frame that will surely stand out in every room.
  3.        Italian utensil holder – functional and stylish, this holder serves as a great accent to your kitchen countertop. You can use this lovely Italian utensil holder for your favorite kitchen tools, without the hassle of pulling out drawers time and again. This certainly is a treat for organizing junkies!  You can easily find the right tool while you’re cooking your favorite Italian dishes with the help of this holder. Other than beautifying your kitchen, it also doubles as a wine bottle orbreadsticks holder.
  1.       Moleskine City Notebook – Planning a trip to Itay? A Moleskine city notebook is your friend when you want to scribble your plans for the whole trip. If you will give it as a present, choose a Moleskine city notebook featuring your friend’s favorite Italian city to make your gift truly awesome! Famous cities include Venice, Florence, Rome and Milan.

Books

Deruta

  1.       An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church’s Strangest Relic in Italy’s Oddest Town – Now this is a uniquely woven story you don’t want to miss. With the Italian and Catholic history involved, this David Farley tale is about a “strange relic” which is the holy foreskin of Jesus. I won’t give away too many details, so you really have to read it to find out.
  2.       Italy From Above – Renting a helicopter to look at the Italian countryside from up high might not be for all of us, but this book gives you a bird’s eye view of Italy while sitting at the comfort of your own home. Italy From Above shows us what we’ve been missing, so while buying one for your beloved Italophile, why not buy another copy for yourself, right? You won’t regret it.  
  3.       Sprezzatura – Anyone with Italian heritage will be proud if they see Sprezzatura, also known as “50 Ways Italian Genius Shaped the World.” This book is a reminder why Italy is just a fabulous and lovely country to experience. It covers both things a lot of people know about Italian culture, plus awesome information you’ll only read in this book.
  4.       In Etna’s Shadow: Culinary Adventures from Eastern Sicily – Armchair travelers will have a field day reading this book.  It is a heartfelt book by WhyGo Italy contributor Karen Landes as an ode to Sicilian cuisine, making it a great present for foodies and Italophiles as well.
  5.       The Miracle of Castel di Sangro – If your Italophile is also a sports fanatic, The Miracle of Castel di Sangro by Joe McGinniss should definitely be at the top of the gift idea list. It is a tale of a little Italian soccer team who dreamed big and succeeded, while adding in elements of insight, humor, and great affection. Based on a true story, you don’t have to be a sports fan to enjoy this heartwarming story.
  6.       The Dark Heart of Italy – If the Italophile in your life read “Under the Tuscan Sun” with one eyebrow raised, thinking Italy can’t possibly be that dreamy all the time, then The Dark Heart of Italy by Tobias Jones should be next on their reading list. It’s a healthy dose of Italian history and politics mixed in with soccer, food, religion and everyday life, and it paints a pretty accurate portrait of Italy today. This is also an important read for someone who is planning to move to Italian soil for good. Take note that the book was written by someone who truly adores Italy, despite the gloomy title. Italophile or not, this is actually a fitting gift for book-lovers who likes a broad spectrum of genres.
  7.       The Europe Book – Despire not being about Italy entirely, The Europe book gests an honorable mention for this list. This gorgeous coffee table book could inspire greater travels not even an Italian travel book can achieve. The folks at Lonely Planet came up with this amazing book, showcasing other continents in a series of books giving you ideas for your future travel itinerary.

Finding a present for your beloved Italophile has never been this easy! With all these suggestions I provided, I’m sure you can pick one that best fits your loved one. Any fabulous and Italy-rific gift idea I don’t have listed here? Let me know. Good luck!

venice italyMy friends often assign me to make checklist before traveling to any places. Now, I consider each of you my friend as I’m going to share with you tips that are helpful for you when you visit Italy.

  1. Make sure to visit Florence, Rome and Venice. You don’t want to miss amazing arts and historical places, right? So, make sure to visit these places.
  2. However, spend some time visiting small towns. Tip: real Italy is found in small towns.
  3. Giving tip is not required. Be mindful if you decide to tip as in particular, tipping is offensive. It’s like buying a person for couple of bucks.
  4. Pick pocketing is still in issue especially in metropolitan areas in Italy.
  5. Watch street billboards. There are mostly wonderful events wherein people gather together to eat and celebrate; usually, the foods are served with a theme. How cool is that?
  6. Dates are always shown day-month-year. Remember, always.
  7. Times in Italy are indicated in a 24-hour format.
  8. Push to enter, pull to get out. Take note of this, too.
  9. Rail stations and airport have public restrooms. There are few attendants who are expecting for a tip and you are actually expected to leave few coins.
  10. In Italian public restrooms, tissue is rare! You need to bring your own tissue same as what Italian women do.
  11. In visiting churches and holy places, you need to observe proper dress code.
  12. Credit cards are not all the time accepted so bring cash with you no matter what.
  13. When you use an Italian phone, you do not need to worry as all incoming calls are absolutely free of charge.
  14. When walking in a store, there would be an assistant who will do every task for you, sometimes you are not allowed to touch it unless you want to try it.
  15. The rudeness of Italian shop assistants are legendary. If you’re not size “0” (zero), do not take it personally if they tell you you’re overweight.
  16. Store exchanges in Italy do not exist so better be mindful on what you buy.
  17. Buy shoes in Italy. Yes. Leather in Italy are very good and it could last for years.
  18. Banks are open only in morning and open one hour only in the afternoon. So, you know what to do.
  19. Old ladies will yell at you if you don’t wear gloves to pick up food in produce section at shops.
  20. You will need to bag your own groceries and pay for it, too.
  21. Almost all of Italian hotels will include breakfast in your room price.
  22. Italians do not have the habit of putting ice into their drinks. So, do not wonder why they look at you when you ask for ice.
  23. They do not have food-to-go unless you’re in a pizza place.
  24. Never ever leave your bread upside down on the table. This is considered as a bad luck.
  25. There are actually over 100 pasta type in Italy. Each place has its own version so try as many as possible, okay?

These are just general tips for you. Hope, I did give you tips when you travel Italy. Hope to see you soon in my favorite country!

We knew how Italy has contributed much to the world’s art, history, cultural advancement and even exchange. In fact, most of the Italian art collections, major historical venues and museums celebrate and honor those arts. Most of the Italian arts contributed to the enrichment of world’s culture and multicultural diversity.

Italian arts

When you visit Italy, you will have the chance to see the art itself with just the places or sites featuring great architecture and art works. Rome, Venice, Florence, Pisa, Assisi, Naples and Siena offers the locals and tourists of wonderful and captivating art that talks about history too.

Did you know that there are quite numbers of places with major breathtaking beauty and historical and cultural significance in Italy? Yes. You heard that right.

Italy

There are  over 95,000 great churches and cathedral. There are 40,000 intriguing beautiful distinct castles and forts. There are at least 30,000 historical residences too. There are 6,000 museums and countless artisan studios.

You might heard before that world-renowned museums are found in Italy too. That’s true. Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Capitoline Museums in Rome and Milan’s Brera Art Gallery offer wide choices of exquisite displays and grand exhibitions of all Italian art created.

Not just that as Italy offers finest music genres. Milan’s La Scala is one of the most famous. Italy is providing wide selection of charming and historical concert halls and cafes found along the historical country. You can definitely experience the music by visiting those places. But, according to some, so long as you’re in the Italian country, you’ll be hearing their art in music almost everyday, too.

Italy has appreciated and understood the connection between one form of art to another. The country’s beautiful sites are the wealth of their nation offering invaluable sights. For all of that reason, Italy will always contribute to the arts and lifestyle of people not just from the same country but globally, too.

italyItaly is one of the country who have contributed so much in our daily lives. It has influenced many countries with its arts,culture, history and tradition. What makes me interested with Italy is the fact that it is rich in culture. I am more of a vintage-addict. I love everything with a touch of the past or filled with history or story.

Let’s go back with the History of Italy and its arts.

When Italy was mentioned, people will mean it is the Alps’ entire south peninsula. From 1st to 5th century, Italy was under Rome’s control. It wan then during the times of Romans too that the arts in Italy was refined and properly strengthened. As we all know, there are few Italian artists who left not just their own country but the whole world too, with significant treasures through art. As per other articles, Italy is considered a paradise with valuable arts and places for art aficionados.

Roman Arts In ItalyItaly

Art and politics are closely linked with each other in Roman art. Decorations, frescoes and interiors were very essential than the physical or outside facades. There are three innovations that the Roman art has brought: depiction of history, landscape painting and the art of portraits. These three art-historical contributions were used mostly by emperors to show their glory and fame. Religion, most specifically the Christianity has brought changes with the art in Italy as well as in Europe.

Renaissance Period

italyEven after Roman empire has fallen, arts by Roman still exist up to the Byzantine Empire. It was during this period wherein Michelangelo, Leonardo da vinci, Titian and Raphael have left wonderful arts.

Baroque Legacy

Art was used to strengthened faith and the fight of spreading Protestantism of the church. The Baroque arts were used to show the importance of Catholic Church. Baroque arts were then used as instrument for the propaganda during this time. Gianlorenzon Bernini and Francesco Borromini were the famous artists during this period.

So, that’s it for the history of Italy and its arts. I’ve made it very brief to give you just an overview.