Many regions of Italy have distinct ceramic traditions. You can find entire towns dedicated to ceramics in Puglia, or purchase finely painted plates from Deruta, for example. But you can also find unique ceramics in Rome through the non-profit foundation La Stelletta.
La Stelletta was created by a group of parents in the 1980s who wanted to create a space for learning and economic opportunity for their children. The children, all born with disabilities, were left without many options after high school.
With the help of artisan craftsmen, the teenagers were able to learn a craft and each person soon found their unique area to contribute. Some found their places shaping the ceramics by hand. Others soon specialized in painting and design. And still other members of the cooperative found their space in the shop that they opened on Via della Stelletta.
This beautiful street near the Pantheon is full of lovely high-end boutiques. There are gorgeous designer items and gourmet restaurants alongside the non-profit ceramic store. The little storefront is easy to miss so keep an eye out the next time you are in the neighborhood. Stepping inside is an instant mood boost.
The creative ceramics are brightly colored and change with the years and seasons. Each artisan has their own style and many pieces are one of a kind.
The artists who create for La Stelletta might be able to produce “only” one vase a day. That means that the prices here are truly discounted when you think of the time, effort, and dedication that each plate or cup represents to the person who crafted it.
In order to continue to fund their operations, La Stelletta can also print designs on large orders of ceramics, replicating one of their designs at a lower cost in case you need a matching set.
During Christmas, you can also find small ornaments here to add a special touch to your tree.
Whatever the season, I highly recommend stopping by and making a small purchase to support the cooperative. It is one of the most unique and heartfelt stores in the center of Rome.
And here is where to find their contact information (in Italian) if you want to make a donation.
Via della Stelletta 20/a
Rome, Italy (Centro Storico)