April 15, 2015

"M" is for Majolica

The gift shops in Campania are filled with ceramics in vibrant hues of lemon yellow, azure blue and emerald green. Any meal would taste better on this colourful serving ware. And only strong colours like these can stand up to the intense sunlight of southern Italy. These colours are also found on a style of earthenware known as majolica.

Colourful Ceramics in Capri

Majolica features lively hand-painted patterns on a white tin-based glaze. These designs are also found on decorative tiles and they often tell a story. I first saw majolica tiles on the wall of Sorrento’s lemon grove, the Giardini di Cataldo. The scenes celebrate the importance of lemons in local culture.

Majolica Tiles, Giardini di Cataldo

Majolica tiles also decorate a large stone bench in the Gardens of Augustus in Capri. It appears to tell the story of the lemon's arrival on the island.

Majolica Tile Bench, Gardens of Augustus

There’s a large display of antique majolica tiles in Anacapri, the other town on the island of Capri. The floor of Chiesa San Michele (St. Michael’s Church) dates from 1761 and depicts Adam and Eve in flight from the Garden of Eden.

Majolica Tile Floor, Chiesa San Michele

The second floor balcony provides the best view of the scene but a raised walkway around the perimeter of the church gives you a close-up view of the birds and beasts, including a unicorn.

Next:  "N" is for Nightfall


  1. I haven't heard of this style before, but I love the bright colors! Thanks for sharing! If you have time you should stop by and check out check out my M Post.

    1. I love vibrant colours too. Thanks for stopping by. I'll check out your post.

  2. Really enjoyed the photos. First time I've visited your blog!
    Maui Jungalow

    1. I'm glad you liked the photos, Courtney. And thanks for the RT.

  3. I've resisted buying any of this dinnerware although there is, or was, a beautiful shop in a neighboring community that sold it. I mean, how many dishes do I really need?

    1. I didn't buy any either but it was tempting. The only kitchenware I've bought while travelling was a little ceramic garlic grater in Nice and I love it. It really works well.The next time I was in France I bought a few more for my friends (and a spare for myself!).

  4. Beautiful tiles. I like the lemon theme running through it.


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