BENANO’S NEIGHBORHOOD ARTIST
We love collecting travel tips from our guests. Some of our favorite guests told us that one of the highlights of their stay at Rocca di Benano was their visit to renowned ceramic artist Marino Moretti’s studio. After seeing the art they brought home, we decided we needed to get to know Marino.
It wasn’t hard. Marino warmly welcomes visitors, is very engaging, and speaks great English. And he lives and works in Viceno, a short walk from Benano. It’s easy to find him there because he lives in the castle at the top of the town. (Have I grabbed your attention yet, or is visiting a guy who lives in a castle “old hat” to you?) So when you reach Viceno, just keep walking uphill until you get to his studio. Here’s a report on a recent visit to Marino’s castle/studio, written by an American blogger who lives in Orvieto.
Marino literally grew up around ceramics; his father collected traditional ceramics and pottery fragments. When Marino was 13, he began copying pieces from his father’s collection. Three decades later, Marino’s whimsical work, which he has exhibited all over the world, celebrates his own unique interpretation of the traditional figures he first saw in his father’s collection and features fantastic scenes and brilliant colors.
Marino is always happy to open his studio to guests from Rocca di Benano. All it takes is a phone call or email to arrange a time to visit to his studio and watch him work (from Benano dial 320-265-1654, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org). Marino will demonstrate how he throws his pottery and paints his unique figures. Guests can choose between a visit lasting a half-hour (25 euros for the group) or an hour (50 euros). The price of each such visit will include a small ceramic piece to take home with you.
One of my favorite pieces. As I write this, Marino is working on a similar piece that should grace our living room in Ohio before too long.
On a recent visit, we worked with Marino to design this piece, which he created and delivered to us a couple days later, in time for us to carry it home.