International Museum of Ceramics
HALF DAY TOUR ( 2.5/3 hours)
The International Museum of Ceramics is the largest collection in the world dedicated to the art of ceramics.
The Mic was founded in 1908 at the end of the Torricellina Exhibition, the great International Exhibition dedicated to Evangelista Torricelli, which displayed the products of many Italian and European manufacturers. The ceramic works donated by the exhibitors constituted the original core of the Museum which continued to be enriched over the years. The founder was Gaetano Ballardini, director of the Museum until 1953. The attack suffered in 1944 during the Second World War almost caused the total destruction of the Museum as well as serious and irreparable damage to both the collections and the archive. Only five years later the Museum reopened its doors to the public thanks to the tenacity of Ballardini, the help of the whole community of Faenza and the support from a network of national and international contacts.
Today, in addition to the exhibition of the collections, the Mic also supports research activities, it has a ceramic restoration laboratory and it promotes courses and workshops with a constant innovative teaching commitment.
The visit itinerary takes place within the 16,000 square meters of exhibition space and starts from the ground floor where the great civilizations are exhibited: Eastern, Pre-Columbian, Roman, Greek, Etruscan, from the ancient Middle East and Islamic.
Then you will move on to the first floor with the itinerary dedicated to the ceramics of Faenza, the Renaissance and the Italian Baroque and to Italian ceramics from the 17th to the 19th century. From here you will enter the modern area with the exhibition of the first Italian ‘900 manufactures until today. Passing through the spaces dedicated to temporary exhibitions, you’ll arrive at the Hall of European Manufactures, with the splendid works donated by Picasso for the reconstruction of the Museum’s modern collections after the destruction of the War.
In the basement it is possible to visit the exhibition of sacred art and devotional plaques documenting 500 years of pottery with a religious subject.
Leaving the Museum, the visit continues, taking a stroll in the Old Town centre and Piazza del Popolo.
On the square stands Palazzo del Podestà and Palazzo Municipale ( the City Hall) which was originally the palace of the Manfredi family, lords of Faenza.
On Piazza della Libertà, an extension of Piazza del Popolo, you can admire the Renaissance Duomo (Cathedral of San Pietro apostolo), the baroque fountain Fontana Monumentale, dating back to 1621, and the Civic Tower or Torre dell’Orologio rebuilt in Baroque style after the destruction following the bombing of the Second World War that completely razed it to the ground.