Oristano city of ceramics

Oristano is known as the City of Ceramics (ministerial acknowledgment) for the leading role that the city’s ceramics production has played over the centuries.

Thanks to its favorable environmental conditions, an alluvial plain rich in raw materials such as water, clays, and to the Mediterranean scrub used as fuel for ovens, this is a city in which the ancient craft of working ceramics arrive to us from a past long gone, with extremely valuable artisan productions.

Evidence of ceramic production in the area is known from the most ancient times (4th millennium BC), while the earliest written documents about it date back to the Middle Ages. In 1692, the statute of the gremio (corporation) of the Figoli was drawn up, which regulated the activity and protected the typical shapes of all objects produced.

The city’s old town, with its district dedicated to the Figoli and the testimony su brugu de sos conjolargios dating back to the sixteenth century, is the location where you may admire plenty of evidence of the history of Oristano ceramics, together with the productions of today’s ceramic artisans.

Apart from the locations described in this article, your visit may continue by booking at these potters’ workshops.

  • C.M.A. Ceramiche Maestri d’Arte (via Cagliari, 139 – tel. 0783 358103)
  • Caterina Porcu – Luce Buio (via Monte Gonare, 34 – 340 8937431)
  • Margherita Giovanna Pilloni (via F. Crispi, 29 – 0783 303980)
  • Valentina Pisu (Via Othoca, 30 – Via Vittorio Veneto, 55/B – 328 9475516), currently in refurbishing
  • Ceramiche Manis SNC (Via Neapolis, 15 – 0783 73231)



In order to discover the evolution of terracotta from the Neolithic (IV millennium BC) to the early Middle Ages, crossing the Nuragic (XVI – VI BC), Etruscan, Phoenician-Punic and Roman periods, the itinerary must start from the Antiquarium Arborense Archaeological Museum in Piazza Corrias.

Right in front of the entrance you will see the reproduction of faretrina quivers and tripods from the Nuragic period, which miniaturized in bronze, can be found in the display cases of the museum.



As you leave the archaeological museum behind, you will reach Piazza Martini, called Piazzetta Tre Palme by the people of Oristano.

In this square, a contemporary installation in painted ceramic recounts the female activity of carrying water with the sa mariga (water jug) on the head.



Once in piazza Eleonora d’Arborea, you may visit the rooms of the Tourist Information Office, which host temporary exhibitions by local potters.

Below the rather tall palm trees lies a tribute made by ceramists to the Carta de Logu, where the incipit of the famous code of laws is reproduced in ceramic. In the same space stands one of the most precious pieces of Oristano ceramics, the so-called brocca pintada or bride’s pitcher, made on a lathe and enriched with floral decorations, but also with small animals, characters or reproductions of scenes or architectures.

Terracotta Oristano



In Via Sant’Antonio, it is possible to visit the Oristano Ceramics Documentation Center, where the TERRACOTTA exhibition is hosted.

The exhibition recreates environments of ancient Oristano, with its Campidanese houses made of ladiri (mud and straw bricks), still viewable in the city center. A series of panels with historical testimonies, statutes, ancient tariffs and video contents introduce the exhibition of Oristano ceramics.



After passing the remains of the ancient city walls, you will get to admire some works by Oristano ceramists, such as the sa scivedda, a basin used daily in all homes until the arrival of plastic.

This open-air setting also features the masks of the knights of Sartiglia, here made of ceramic, with ornamental value.