I am happy to tell you the story behind Circo Fortuna’s playing cards, designed in Sicily.

My name is Caroline van Riet (Dutch) and in 1990 I moved to Ortigia, the historic center of Syracuse. There, in 1992, with my Sicilian partner I opened the atelier Circo Fortuna.

Since 2007 Circo Fortuna has been a one-woman show.

It was shortly after my arrival in Sicily while out one evening in a pub I saw a very unusual deck of playing cards. I loved them! Unfortunately they were not for sale, as I would have liked to have bought them for my bridge playing brother.

These cards remained on my mind.

My brother had to wait 14 years to receive his designer playing cards… but…designed by me!

Our artistic playing cards

In 2004 I started drawing for this new project.

It was like a treasure hunt without a map. Intuition was my compass. I wanted a card with a fresh artistic style. A lighthearted card.

Immerged for hours in pure panic (every creator will recognize this agony) whilst cycling in the fresh winter sun, I saw a flash of a square shaped face. There he was, my King of Diamonds! How wonderful a square shaped crown would look on his square shaped hair. And voilà, after him the other figures of the deck appeared spontaneously.

Having played 54 times with colours and shapes, a unique and contemporary playing card is the result. It is of professional quality, a must for all collectors and card lovers.

Our playing cards are produced by Dal Negro S.P.A, Italy’s first class playing card company. They are made of professional double card gr.340/mq, size 63×88 mm.

A set consists of 110 cards split into two decks, each deck having a different colour on the reverse. The set is packaged in a uniquely designed cardboard box.

The cards are part of the Toni Di Rossi collection www.tonidirossi.it

Circo Fortuna’s artistic playing cards are also available in our online shop.

There is a warm feeling on entering the atelier-boutique in Via Capodieci 42 in Syracuse, and not only when the kiln is functioning! The eclectic décor radiates an authentic chaotic atmosphere, and on first glance it’s impossible to capture all the details.

Apart from the design playing cards, Circo Fortuna also creates pottery with a positive soul that makes you smile.

The small bespoke collection grows every year with new designs and creations.

Handcrafted mugs, plates and bowls, T-shirts, posters and postcards are waiting for you.

We hope you’ll find the perfect present for someone or for yourself, a gift that will bring back pleasant memories of your amazing mediterrenean trip.

Some of our favorite designs are the ones inspired by Sicily with Il Cavallo Siciliano, Ortigia, Il Geco, Ciao Sicilia e La Sposa Siciliana.

Or maybe you are seduced by the love themed designs, like Let Love Be King, Quando Sarò Grande…, L’Albero dell’Amore and Giraffa Family?

If you are not fortunate enough to travel this year to Sicily and visit us, you can always find Circo Fortuna on Instagram @circofortunaortigia where you will see many photographs of our creations.

Most articles are available online in our store www.circofortuna.it, where you can shop whenever and wherever you are: we ship all over the globe.

A presto, ciao!