Concierge.com's insider take:
Flanking the busy E45 superstrada about ten miles south of Perugia, the modern-day ceramics factories of Deruta are the successors of workshops that have been turning out the area's distinctive blue, yellow, green, and white glazed pottery since the 13th century. By the 1500s, Deruta bowls, jugs, and apothecary jars decorated with fruit and flower motifs were being exported all over Europe; these days, they travel the world. With more than 250 outlets to choose from, it's difficult to know where to start. The key thing, if you intend to have your purchases shipped home, is to check the small print of the shop's shipping agreement, as it has been known for items to take months to arrive (or to occasionally never turn up at all). Reputable manufacturers (all of which offer tours of their premises) include Ubaldo Grazia (181 Via Tiberina; 39-075-971-0201; www.ubaldograzia.com; closed Sat. after 1 p.m. and Sun.), Antica Deruta (E45 road, Km. 73.8; 39-075-971-1171; www.anticaderuta.com; closed Sat. after 1 p.m. and Sun.), and Franco Mari (236 Via Tiberina; 39-075-971-1795; www.majolichefrancomari.com; closed Sun.).