Most of the pottery known as Tuscan pottery or Florentine pottery is actually made in Montelupo Fiorentino–a beautiful little village of approximately 11,000 which is located about 10 miles from Florence. Montelupo Fiorentino was one of the most important Italian ceramic centers in Italy during the Renaissance and immediately after and has seen a revival of its ceramic industry during the last 10 years. Our Collection of ceramics from this village include Tuscan Vista, and Terra Bianco which are made in a family-run studio in Montelupo Fiorentino.
Hundreds of years ago the territory of Montelupo, situated between Montalbano and the middle course of the Arno, was already an important crossroads on the communication route between the Florentine area, the Apennines and the Tyrrhenian coast. Its location on the old Roman road that joined Florence and Pisa and the presence of waterways led to the development of numerous manufacturing activities, including ceramics.
Since its Tuscan ceramic heyday during the Renaissance, Montelupo had lost some of its heritage and was considered for a very long time only a minor pottery production centre. The role played by Montelupo pottery in the history of Italian ceramics was re-defined only a few years ago, thanks to the unexpected discovery of an old well full of kiln shards. Hundreds of ceramic pieces from the Renaissance were found in the excavations headed by an association of volunteers. Now they are featured in the Tuscan pottery collection housed in a newly renovated Museum of Ceramics.
The village has undergone a transformation recently in the form of a remodeled piazza and main streets. On our first visit to Montelupo Fiorentino in 2002 the main street, Garibaldi Avenue, was an open trench covered with a plywood patchwork of sidewalks and bridges. We had to walk gingerly along the uneven surfaces in our new-purchased Pradas. Today Garibaldi Avenue is an elegant example of the Italian knack of blending ancient architecture with modern style. The street features a clay statue by Sergio Pucci, called “The stranger can only see what he knows.” The top of the street is adorned with a stunning fountain, which is in the shape of a boat. The pavement is decorated with a motif representing the waves of the Arno River. These three works are conceptually conveying the idea of travel and migration.
Today the village of Montelupo Fiorentino is a little gem boasting charming streets lined with shops featuring Tuscan Majolica pottery, jewelry, linens, Italian gourmet foods, and restaurants serving local specialties.