Busch Gardens Williamsburg guests can watch Capodimonte come to life with master painter Antonio Aprea.
Capodimonte means "top of the mountain" in Italian. King Charles VII established the Italy's first hilltop porcelain factories in 1759. His interest in porcelain developed after marrying Princess Maria Amalia, the granddaughter of Poland's King Augustus II who founded the first European hard-paste porcelain factory in Meissen, Germany.
In the mid-1700s, craftsmen working at the factory used this newly developed Italian porcelain paste to create elaborate vases, cups, bowls, plates, snuff-boxes, tea sets and floral arrangements. They marked each item with a signature fleur-de-lis.
In the late 1700s, King Charles' son Ferdinand established a new factory in Naples and established the famed Capodimonte mark featuring a blue crown sitting atop a Neapolitan "N". During this "Golden Age of Capodimonte" artisans produced city scenes and more expressive pieces of art. Production ended when the factory closed its doors in the early 1800s.
Today, Busch Gardens Williamsburg offers a wonderful opportunity to experience, and purchase, this classic art form. Our Capodimonte master artisans began their training at the age of 12 through apprenticeships with established masters of the art in Naples, Italy.
Each piece is exquisitely designed, hand-crafted, hand-painted and exclusive to Busch Gardens Williamsburg.