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Sannio's "Cities of Ceramics"

Two villages and a tradition: in the heart of "cerretese" art

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Where is


82032 Cerreto Sannita BN, Italia (0m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

Two villages, one soul: Cerreto Sannita and San Lorenzello boast a special tradition related to the working of typical ceramics, recognized as "Cerretese." When walking through the streets of the two villages, it is easy to notice ceramic objects in the stores, workshops and artisan laboratories that today, as in recent centuries, animate these towns. Objects recognized by tradition as typically Cerretese include celebratory plates, holy water stoups, apothecary jars, and tiles decorated with wind roses or festoons.

Why it is special

After walking around the historic center admiring the Master Craftsmen at work, it is time to go to see the oldest artifacts traceable to this art. Both boroughs are proud of their tradition, and hold valuable collections in two dedicated museums. Within them are some very ancient artifacts, dating from Roman times to fragments from the 16th century found in Cerreto Antica. The real stars, however, are the works dating back to the 1700s, which allow visitors to admire the maximum splendor achieved by this art.

Not to be missed

As is often the case, museums are not the only custodians of art and tradition: the churches in the two towns are also worth visiting in search of stoups, statuettes and tiles. In fact, to be precise, the production of religious-themed ceramics was precisely what was most in demand on the market in past centuries. A fine example of this trend is the tympanum of the facade of the Congrega della Santità di San Lorenzello: inside it, on ceramic tiles, is a reproduction of an image of the Virgin made by Antonio Giustiniani, a master potter originally from Naples.

A bit of history

For centuries, the Titerno River has provided the ceramists of Cerreto Sannita and San Lorenzello with the raw material to develop a craftsmanship that in the 18th century became art in its own right, and which, thanks to the workshops of contemporary artisans, today allows the two villages to be two of the 47 "Italian cities of ceramics," consortiumed in the network of the Italian Association of Ceramic Cities (AiCC), established in 1999.


In addition to ceramics, the production of taralli is characteristic in San Lorenzello : after all, we are in Sannio, an area where there are countless recipes for them. In San Lorenzello, in the mid-19th century, all the town's bakers developed in the production of m'scuott. Yes because in fact the process involves first baking in hot water and then in an oven (strictly wood-fired). Over the decades the recipe has seen the addition of wild fennel, pepper or dried rosemary. Today the tarallo di San Lorenzello has entered by right among the "Traditional Food Products" certified by the Campania Region.

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Recommended by
Gaetano Vessichelli

Cerreto Sannita and San Lorenzello are two charming neighboring villages, famous because they can boast the title of "City of Ceramics"-only five villages in Campania have this recognition, the "cerretese" art is fascinating.


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