With its view of the Paretone (Great Wall) of the Big Horn, Castelli is situated at the foot of the northern face of Monte Camicia. In spite of its wild mountain scenery, this centre is situated at a moderate height, and is surrounded by an agricultural countryside dotted with farmhouses.
It was the presence of the erosion furrows and the clay, together with the water to knead it, and the wood to keep the kilns burning, that first attracted a community of Benedictine monks from San Vincenzo al Volturno to Castelli in the early middle ages.
The monks founded the abbey of S.Salvatore, and started to produce the pottery that was to make Castelli famous all over Italy. The most prolific period of production of this refined, artistic pottery, which was well know in all the courts of Europe, was from the 15th to the 16th centuries.
The school of Grue, Fuina, Gentili and Cappelletti produced plates, jugs, tiles and other objects of outstanding beauty. In the former Franciscan convent, the Pottery Museum allows you to get an idea of the history of this form of art. The nearby church of S. Donato offers a rare example of a more popular version of ceramic art, with its tiled ceiling.
The Museum and S. Donato are not, however, the only items of interest at Castelli. Do not miss a visit to the workshop, where artistic ceramics are still today produced.