Villeroy & Boch's new Casale Blu pattern is inspired by designs from the heart of Italy. The discreet blue colour and a focus on purely graphic elements reflects the traditional majolica-style ceramics for which the small Umbrian town of Deruta has been famous since the twelfth century. Here, in the peaks and valleys of the Appenine mountains, porcelain is still painted by hand, with certain patterns dating back to the Renaissance painter Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino – 1483-1520).
Umbrian cooking is authentic and inspired by nature, reflecting the region's mainly farming roots. The dishes used to be regarded as "peasant cooking", despite the traditional inclusion of truffles in most meals. These gourmet fungi are now served as garnish for pasta dishes and used to stuff roast lamb or rabbit. This hearty fare comes together with the Casale Blu pattern to create a very special atmosphere around the family table.
In the golden age of Deruta's ceramic production, the town's creations were sent to almost all Italian regions and cities. However, one particularly important destination was the province of Umbria. This was partly due to the town's special privilege of settling regional taxes directly with porcelain products. Deruta's patterned designs are therefore still synonymous with everyday farming and middle-class life in Central Italy.
It is the great scope it opens up for different combinations that makes the Casale Blu pattern so special. The main blue pattern can be mixed and matched according to individual preference with a further five patterns - "Alda", "Bella", "Carla" and "Dorina" - as well as the white Artesano Original collection. This paves the way for a wide variety of effects – giving each table setting its own special style and picking up on the current "mix & match" trend. Some great effects can also be achieved by combining different coffee cup and saucer patterns – ideal to accompany irresistible desserts or Italian cakes.
Casale Blu is all about the Italian lifestyle outside major cities such as Rome or Milan. The patterns are inspired by a natural way of living and hearty, rustic fare, enjoyed with the family in the kitchen or with a large gathering around an imaginatively decorated table.