The earliest examples of soft paste porcelain in Europe come from Italy and were made by the painter, sculptor and architect, Buontalenti. This effort was supported by Grand Duke Francesco I de' Medici between 1575 and 1613 with the majority of them being produced before the Grand Duke's death in 1587. About 60 pieces in this group have survived to this day and bear an image of the Duomo cathedral on Florence or have the 6 balls of the Medici arms and are inscribed with the Grand Duke's initials. These pieces pre-date other soft paste examples found from Padua (1627) and Pisa (1619). The glaze decoration is of a blue and white style and the pieces are often heavily potted or warped. Some of these pieces are marked on the bottom 'prova' meaning test in Italian. The scope of production included basins, jugs, vases, and bottles, oftent times showing imitation of Chinese imports as well as forms made in the earthenware majolica style.
Italy returned to porcelain making in the early1700s and produced the hard paste type due to German and Austrian influence. The hard paste secret came from the factory in Vienna. Production centers at this time are around Venice and Doccia near Florence. These production centers were aristocratic in nature but focused on production as a commercial effort. Another factory called Capodimonte in Naples produced soft paste pocelain and was focused on production for the court.