Tunisia: Nabeul

Nabeul , 17 km northeast along the coast from Hammamet, is the seat of the Gouvernorate of Cap Bon, a market centre and  the pottery and stonework capitale of Tunisia, with a busy working atmosphere quite different from its near neighbour. The fine regional museum houses remains and mosaics from Roman Neapolis, which the town was founded upon.

A few giant hotels dot the beach between Hammamet and  Nabeul, but not much developpement has gone on here  in the last decade compared  to the coast southwest of Hammamet Sud’s gentle curve and lush green backdrop, and on a windy day can feel distinctly exposed.

Avenue Habib Thameur

Avenue Habib Thameur,whose continuation isAvenue Farhat Hached, runsin the direction of the soukand the market. Togetherwith Avenue Hedi Chaker, itforms the town’s commercialcentre and is crammed withworkshops and small shopsselling ceramics. The heart ofthe town is Place du 7Novembre, at the junction ofAvenue Habib Thameur andAvenue Habib Bourguiba.The vast clay jug vessel hereis meant to symbolizeNabeul’s pottery traditions.Ceramic bric-a-brac, such asashtrays, small jars and platescan be bought fairly cheaply.Even larger plates or abeautifully decorated dishcost just a few dinars.Although Nabeul is famousmainly for its pottery, it hasalso developed other forms ofcraft, including embroidery,wickerwork (straw mats) andstone carving. Nabeulembroidery is white or lightblue and uses cotton or silkyarns. At one time it wasused only on women’sclothes but now it can also befound decorating tableclothsand linen napkins.

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