The most famous kind of terracotta is produced in Impruneta, an ancient town south of Florence. It is made from clay which is worked according to specific traditional methods and baked in a furnace. The clay from the area around Impruneta is quite special as it is rich in iron, extremely malleable and both elastic and resistant.
The clay is found specifically in the villages of Ferrone, Tavarnuzze and the Val di Greve. The tradition of making terracotta in this region goes back to the fourteenth century and its production has impacted on the area’s landscape, architecture, urban design and economy.
The most common terracotta products made here are vases, dishes and bricks. Many large and small ‘orci’ were also traditionally produced and used to carry the olive oil and wine which are also produced in the region.
Over the centuries, the area’s resistant terracotta also came to be used for roofing and decorating the facades of local houses. The tradition of making terracotta is still going strong in Impruneta today and there are many large and small terracotta workshops.
Source: APT Firenze