On the heel of Italy’s boot and surrounded by glittering water on three sides, gorgeous Puglia was conquered by Greeks, Goths and Turks before rejoining Italy in the mid-19th century. The local tradition of ceramic art might have begun with these foreigners, but the acorn-shaped pigne you find in Puglia today are pure Italian.
These unusual decorative fixtures, ceramic and glazed in colours from white to turquoise to reddish brown, are a symbol of good luck and prosperity. In earlier times, Apulians routinely used pumo, as they are also known, to decorate porches and wrought-iron balconies. The pigne you now find in Apulian towns like Ostuni and Grottaglie are either smooth or perforated so a small candle will emit a diffused light. The best ones have a clean contemporary look and are large – about 60 centimetres high. Definitely a “wow” addition to any living room or garden. From $90 to $250.