Grottaglie sits on a small hill a few kilometres from Taranto, on the edge of the Murge terrace, as it slopes down to the Mar Piccolo (Little Sea). Its origins lie in the surrounding green countryside and spectacular canyons, where traces of ancient life can still be found.

And it’s out of the earth that the town seems to have extracted the artistry for which it’s worldwide famous. Surrounding the lovely historic centre, itself characterized by winding alleys and low-ceilinged houses, is the pottery district, a creative place, where sophisticated terracotta works are produced. Potter’s wheels turn ceaselessly in more than 50 craft shops, where generations of artisans have worked and continue to give shape to plates, crockery, fonts, knights and ladies, as well as the famous glazed ceramic “pomi,” veritable icons of the art of Grottaglie’s “figuli” (master potters).

The forms and colours of the town’s craft shops have often given form to saints, as an expression of the town’s devotion. This devotion highlights in the celebrations of the town’s patron saint, San Ciro, and a large bonfire on January 31st.