Deruta History
Deruta History

Deruta and its Majolicas

Deruta is a small comune and town located in the Umbria region of Italy in the province of Perguia. The town is located on top of a hill and the origins of Deruta are not very clear. However, it is believed that Deruta did have plenty of important links to Perugia since ancient times. It is known that since the 13th century, the town had its own statutes and lows and various old documents dating back to that era have been found. The city walls had collapsed in the 15th century due to lack of repair works.

Deruta is spread over an area of 44 sq km and has a population of close to 8500. The town is famous for its excellent quality ceramics which are exported throughout the world.


Getting to Deruta

Deruta is located quite close to the town of Perugia so reaching the town is not very difficult. Visitors can easily reach Deruta is by bus. The state buses in the region connect the town to several cities in the province as well as to the larger cities in Umbria. Buses depart every few hours for Deruta from Perugia and from other smaller towns in the region. Those who have their own cars can also drive down to the town easily since Deruta is located only 15 km from Perugia. Visitors can reach the town in half an hour.


Moving Around the Town

Deruta ceramic

The easiest way to explore Deruta is on foot since the town is quite small and there are only very few places that would be of interest to tourists. There are several parking lots located in Deruta so it isn't difficult to drive around in the town. The center of the town is quite compact so it can be explored on foot within a few hours. There are many areas that have very narrow streets and alleys in Deruta where it is difficult to drive cars, so the best way is to just walk around to explore the main sight seeing attractions. Those who have their own cars can also explore the nearby villages and the hamlets.


Attractions in Deruta

The Fortress

Old building in Deruta

The ancient fortress of Deruta is one of the main sight seeing attraction in the town. However, over the years the fortress has been quite badly damaged due to lack of maintainence. It is believed that the fortress was built around the 12th century along with the city walls and the large ancient gates to protect the town from invaders. The three ancient gates can still be visited. The gates are decorated with arches. However, not much remains of the fortress today.


Palazzo dei Consoli

The Palazzo dei Consoli was built in the 14th century as a tower and is now the Town Hall of Deruta. The palace is built in a beautiful Romanesque style of architecture with mullioned windows. It is located in the Piazza dei Consoli. Within the Town Hall, visitors can see the ceramics museum which has a large collection of antique majolica. There is also a beautiful picture gallery inside that has a beautiful 15th century painting made by Niccolo Alluno. There is also a beautiful Madonna with Child, a San Antonio banner and several other beautiful art works. The 15th century frescoes of Saint Rocco and Rornano are quite noteworthy.


Church of San Francesco

The church of San Francesco is located in the main piazza opposite the Town Hall. The church is built in gothic Romanesque style and there is a convent located next to it. The bell tower of the church is from 14th century and has beautiful mullioned windows. The interior of the church has a single nave and various beautiful frescoes made in the 14th century. There is a martyrdom of St Catherine from Alexandria close to the altar and a beautiful fresco of Madonna child and Saints.


Church of San Antonio Abate

Ceramic foundry in Deruta

The church of San Antonio Abate is located in piazza Benincasa. Inside the church is a beautiful Madonna of Mercy and several frescoes. Most ferscoes depict various scenes from the life of the saint. There is also a statue of the saint near the altar which is made from ceramics.


Stay and Accommodation

Deruta is quite a small town, but it does have some good accommodation options. There are a few good hotels and bed & breakfasts in the town, most of which are quite small and are run by local families. Some of the best hotels in Deruta are hotel L'antico forziere, hotel Melody, hotel Le Tre Vaselle, Lo Spedalicchio, Perugia Plaza hotel and hotel Relais la corte di Bettona. There are also a few farm houses and country homes located on the outskirts of the town which can be taken on rent by those who are planning to stay longer in the area. In most hotels advance booking would not be required; however, in peak tourist seasons it might be a little difficult to get rooms.

Eating in Deruta

There are quite a lot of good options in Deruta when it comes to eating out. There are many good restaurants, trattorias and pizzerias in the town where the locals mostly prefer to eat. In most places, food that is served is traditional Italian and regional dishes. There are also a few good cafés, bars and bakeries in Deruta where visitors can get good wines and light lunch dishes. Some of the best known restaurants in Deruta are ristorante Scappini, Tavola E Favola di Persiani Paola, ristorante Egizia Srl, pizzeria Birreria Al Sasso, Framar Srl, Le Case Coloniche agriturismo e country house.

Shopping in Deruta

Deruta is mostly known for its excellent quality ceramics which are exported to all parts of Italy as well as to other countries. There are plenty of shops located in all parts of the town where visitors can purchase beautiful locally made ceramics; however, these might be quite expensive. The best thing to do is to purchase ceramics directly from the artisans' workshops which would be much inexpensive. The town is also known for its excellent extra virgin olive oil which can be found in almost all food stores.