My name is Caroline van Riet and I was born in 1963 in the Netherlands.

One does not always know the reason behind a journey, but I can well remember why I took the train to Sicily in January1990. It was a black and white photograph of a young lady on a balcony, taken from a unusual angle. There were squiggly wrought iron curls on the corner of the balustrade.

Whatever were they for? *

My arrival in Ortigia was impressive, as the historic centre of Syracuse is a small island, surrounded by a clear Ionian Sea and full of neglected baroque buildings. The nonchalant atmosphere gave me a sensation that the architectual

and naturalistic beauty was simply part of daily life.

Not long after I fell in love with a man who convinced me to open an atelier with him, and that same year I moved to Ortigia. Together, in 1992, we opened the Circo Fortuna atelier: fifty square metres of freedom!

Since 2007 Circo Fortuna is a one-woman show.

The atelier-boutique is now in via Capodieci 42, a stone’s throw from the Aretusa Fountain and just behind the Dome Square.

Few tools are needed for the decoration and creation of the handcrafted pottery; some brushes, some paints and a kiln. The rest is fantasy.

Each design is an ode to life. Every purchase an expression of your personality

Circo Fortuna is a celebration of life, creativity and objects we love. We hope to improve  the conditions of our planet by inspiring mindful consumerism.

Circo Fortuna’s ceramics are dishwasher proof and suitable for hot and cold foods. Our designs can also be found on mugs, plates, bowls, T-shirts, postcards, posters and artistic playing cards. Every item in our characteristic boutique originates from our bespoke designs.

Please check out our website which offers you the opportunity of making your purchases on our online shop from the comfort of your own home. (

You will also find a short biography of Circo Fortuna.

Mix and match your favorite designs in order to create your own unique set. Feedback is always  welcome : )

Photos of products from the past few years can be viewed on Instagram @circofortunaortigia.

*By the way…the squiggly wrought iron curls on the balcony, originally decorative, are now used for hanging out the washing!