One of the funniest parts of an holiday is shopping.
It’s good to spend a few time checking shops, looking for the right souvenir, even if sometimes it can be stressful, especially if you are in a touristic city. Anyway, shopping can be one of the best ways to discover more cultural peculiarities about the place you are visiting.
If you ask me where to go to find the most authentic gifts to remember your trip to the Amalfi Coast, I say Vietri sul Mare.
Vietri sul Mare is a very special place. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1997, this town is an ancient fishermen’s village with a long tradition in ceramic manufacture.
In Vietri there are plenty of small shops and workshops where you can see artisans working on their ceramics: plates, cups, tiles and much more, all decorated with gorgeous colors. Every artisan has his own style, you only have to choose the one you prefer.
But for the people in Vietri, ceramics are not just a matter of “make something and sell it”. They are everywhere, not only in the shops.
I know for sure that the dazzling maiolica dome of the Curch of San Giovanni Battista, covered with hundreds of yellow, green and blu fish-shaped tiles, will leave you breathless. But the most amazing attraction is probably the Palazzo della Ceramica Solimene.
That’s the kind of thing nobody will expect to see in such a small town.
The Palazzo della Ceramica Solimene is the oldest and most prestigious ceramic factory in southern Italy. It is an impressive building with a central body, eight high towers, a facade covered by red and green terracotta cylindrical tubules and it was designed on the model of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Yes…New York architecture in the Amalfi Coast. Isn’t it enough to convince you to come to Vietri?
Ok, I’ve got a last real gem for you. When you are in Vietri sul Mare take a walk on the beach to enjoy the colors of the sea, then sit down, dig a little bit in the sand with your fingers, check what’s hidden between the grains and you will probably find some little pieces of ceramics. Don’t get fooled: these are not modern garbage, but the remains of crockery and other stuff manufactured during the ancient time. Real pieces of history in your hands!
Compared to other town of the Amalfi Coast, like Atrani, Positano or Amalfi itself, Vietri sul Mare is less touristic but I think it’s full of interesting things to discover and it is a good destination for your winter trip to Italy. Moreover, as I’ve already said, I’m sure that it is the right place to find the perfect gifts for you and your loved ones: a tasty Limoncello liquor, a decorated ceramic tile or whatever you prefer.