Gorge on Latin Served Up on a Ceramic Platter

PiattoUnico creates all-Italian designer ceramics, inspired by those timeless images that belong to our collective imagination. Emanuela Sala, creator and designer of the brand, offers a sophisticated aesthetic that freely mixes different visual stimuli: ancient yet strongly contemporary, alive and up-to-date. These handmade crockery collections constitute precious capsule collections, produced with the contribution of small artisan companies that are found in the historic Italian ceramic districts.

The decor elements are taken from ancient prints, magazines of past centuries and old books, that are modified to create a new story, and create a liaison between the silhouettes of the dishes and the food they will host. Each piece is a storyteller of a common heritage, that is conveyed through a combination of images and words.

The PiattoUnico chinaware has a special allure, as if it were an ancient family piece passed on from generation to generation. One of PiattoUnico’s most enchanting collections is Ipse Dixit, that tributes Latin mottos and expressions that are still in use today. Here are the tales on ceramics that will accompany your meal:

CUM GRANO SALIS – With a pinch of salt


Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia wrote that the antidote to poison only works if taken with a pinch of salt. Since then, poison was no longer so frightful and the saying took on the figurative meaning of “with a little common sense.”

IN VINO VERITAS – In wine, truth

This is a Latin proverb, translated from the Greek expression used in the 7th century BC by the Greek poet Alcaeus of Mytilene. It refers to the sincerity of one who has generously drunk the wine, which disinhibits any false restraint.

DE GUSTIBUS NON EST DISPUTANDUM – In matters of taste, there can be no disputes

According to Plutarch, the sentence was pronounced by Julius Caesar in front of a plate of butter asparagus served in the Milanese house of Valerio Leone. The Roman generals, accustomed to oil, did not like it because butter was considered a barbaric food. Thus, Caesar confronted the embarrassing situation by saying: “there is no discussion about personal tastes.”

EX NIHILO NIHIL FIT –  Nothing comes from nothing

The Latin poet and philosopher Lucretius in his De Rerum Natura enhanced a concept that was already expressed by Greek philosophers and formulated for the first time by Empedocles (5th century BC). In classical culture it was unimaginable that something could emerge from nothingness, but in physics the idea that nothing is created and destroyed but everything is transformed is now put to the test by quantum theories.

DULCIS IN FUNDO – Sweet things come at the end


This Latin expression of unknown origin can be used both in a literal sense to indicate events with a happy ending, and in an ironic sense, to indicate the exact opposite.


MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO – A healthy mind in a healthy body

This judgment was extrapolated from a verse by Juvenal, who lived between 50 and 140 AD. According to the poet, man should aspire to only to two good things: the well-being of the soul and the health of the body.

LUPUS IN FABULA – Speaking of the devil

It is used to indicate the appearance, usually unexpected, of the person you are talking about. The expression is found in Terence, Plautus, then in Cicero, with an interpretation linked to the ancient Romans’ belief that being seen by a wolf led to the loss of speech. Hence, the sudden arrival of a person ends the conversation.

PER ASPERA AD ASTRA – Through hardships to the stars

The Latin phrase used by Virgil and Seneca, whose origin probably derives from Greek mythology, believes that only those who had accomplished great feats, had the honor of reaching Olympus when they died.

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NULLA DIE SINE LINEA – No day without a line

Pliny the Elder attributed this quote to the famous painter Apelles of Kos, who did not spend a single day without painting a few brushstrokes. In everyday conversation it indicates the need to work constantly to pursue one’s goals.

OMNIA VINCIT AMOR – Love conquers all

“… et nos cedamus loves” (Love conquers all things, so we too shall yield to love). This verse from the Bucolics by the Latin poet Virgil (38 BC), became proverbial already in ancient times, to exalt the ineluctable power of love, which does not surrender to any obstacle.

CARPE DIEM – Seize the day

This Latin aphorism is drawn from Horaces’ Odes, with which the poet encourages to enjoy the goods that life offers day by day and seize the day “quam minimum credula postero” (putting very little trust in the future).”

HOMO MUNDUS MINOR – A person is a world in miniature

The quote by Roman philosopher Severinus Boëthius (5th century AD), embodies the concept, typical of ancient philosophy and astrology, according to which man is a mix of phenomena that reproduce the universe.

HIC SUNT LEONES – Here be lions

There is no historical evidence, but there is widespread explanation that the phrase would appear as a legend on maps of Ancient Rome in the unexplored areas of Africa, inhabited by hideous creatures. It is used in a joking manner, to allude to an indefinite danger or to the abysmal ignorance of someone.