Circo Fortuna has been open since 1992.

When in 1990, I, Caroline van Riet, first crossed the bridge into Ortigia, I would never have imagined that I’d be on the edge of falling in love with this antique island, and that there I would find my future home and a new life.

On an island that’s not even one square kilometre…

I was struck by the charming character of the old town of Syracuse. I was impressed by the palazzi antichi richly decorated in warm coloured carved stone which contrasted abruptly with the Sicilian blue sky. And in ecstasy on seeing the monumental balconies in wrought iron, elegant and mighty at the same time. Touched on discovering the humbleness of the many hidden treasures in the twisted and narrow streets.

A few days later I met some local people and other travellers in an funny pub in Ortigia. Amongst them my new love with whom I opened the atelier Circo Fortuna.

Since 2007 Circo Fortuna is a one-woman show, but I happily refer to it using the plural as where would we be without the warm support of our sons, family and friends?

Circo Fortuna’s philosophy is to live in the company of objects you really like, as this improves the quality of life and it reduces consumerism. This is why we create handcrafted pottery with a soul and a heart.

Apart from ceramics our collection also includes T-shirts, postcards, posters and design playing cards.

Circo Fortuna aims to enrich the collection every year with new creations and designs. The designs are lighthearted on impact, but the thought behind each creation is by no means superficial. Life has more meaning if lived conscientiously.

If you have never known darkness then you can’t appreciate light with the same intensity. Once in a while, a little dark cloud may appear in our designs.

Our designs can be poetic, ironic, dreamlike, joyful, imaginative or sober, but they will always be original and sincere. The stroke is personal and easy to recognize. It is worth dropping in, if you are looking for a gift or a memento of your trip to Sicily. Or maybe simply out of curiosity to discover some handcrafted artistic ceramics different from the traditional Sicilian ones. We have pottery representing friendship, luck, animals and… love, of course.

Thanks to international tradefairs we have had clients from all over the world such as Starbucks, Bloomingdales, Esprit and Rosenthal.

You may get happily lost wandering through the messy streets of Ortigia and you might just pass by our atelier-boutique by chance. It’s located in a very central postion just behind the Piazza Duomo and 22 steps from the Fontana Aretusa, in via Capodieci 42.

If you are not in the area you can see us on Instagram @circofortunaortigia or visit our website You will find most of our collection there and a shopping trolley is always available for you.

See you soon, ciao!