Grottaglie is located on the slope of the Murge hill on the Monte Samuele Pezzuto, in the hinterland of Taranto. Situated in the famous Murgia of Trulli, in the area that extends from Matera to the Grottaglie on the slopes of the Murge where there are several raised ravines with carved sides. The centre is completely carved into the tufo
(limestone); and there is the Fantiano Cave (now home to an open-air theatre where the Musica Mundi International Festival of ethnic and folk music takes place every year). Grottaglie, known for its culture, art and dialect, is one of the municipalities in the province of Taranto, which is part of Salento. Here you can visit the Ceramic’s Museum in Grottaglie in the beautiful Castello Episcopio. It is the most important museum in Puglia for art pottery with the combination of this ancient art and the Ionian city. You can visit different sections of the archaeological site: tiles, traditional and contemporary ceramics as well as cribs.
There is a very attractive tile section where you can find items ranging from the early seventeenth century to the first half of the twentieth century. There are also a wide variety of dishes and water and wine jugs (“sruli”) with particularly ingenious techniques used for liquid containers in secret (“secretu srulu”, “Vozza cup”, etc.). These objects have a playful character which, during lunch, made pouring difficult for diners, by the way of a complicated hydraulic mechanism. In contrast, are the elegant “ciarle”, vessels equipped with a double ribbon handle, apothecary jars or albarelli, of which the museum has several specimens, as well as tureens, not from Grottaglie, whose grip handles are usually in the form of human figures or natural objects (a pine cone, a piece of fruit) or animals for instance. There is also tile flooring, created both in Grottaglie and other centres in Campania. The ‘devotional’ ceramic, whose production is linked to the local devotion, is well represented in the museum dishes and in saint statues of (Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Cyrus, Saints Medici, St. Michael, etc.), as well as brickwork, water bowls and vases. Unusually, there is a tiled memorial stone from 1907 used for a modest burial.