Italy has always been synonymous with art and architecture. This beautiful European country has numerous museums that attract art lovers from all over the world. The paintings, sculptures, and other artworks of Capitoline Museums, Palace Museums, Vatican Museums, Church Museums, etc. do not fail to mesmerize anyone. Moreover, Italy has produced some of the most famous artists of all time, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Bernini, Raphael, Caravaggio, etc.
However, Italian art is no longer restricted to museums and art galleries. Several Italian artists of today display their creativity through street art and murals. In fact, Italian street painting has motivated tourists to venture into the lesser-known locales of the country to admire this art.
Walkthrough of When Street Art Arrived in Italy
It may surprise you to learn how old Italian street art really is. While pointing out a specific date is a difficult task, the explosion of Street Art all over Italy is often linked to the global Graffiti Movement which gained traction in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Nevertheless, Italy has a long history of mural painting and public artwork that goes back even more.
It was in the 1980s that it started to become prominent in Italy in terms of modern street art. Motivated by the worldwide street art movement, graffiti painters and muralists flocked to cities like Rome and Milan. Over the following decades, the street art movement in Italy kept developing and expanding, becoming an important part of public expression.
The precise timeframe may fluctuate depending on the location in Italy, as street art frequently develops naturally in reaction to regional social, cultural, and political circumstances. Italian cities have embraced street art as a means of artistic expression over time, and many places today have colorful murals and graffiti that have come to define the cityscape.
With this note, let us look at some of the most prominent Italian destinations where you can enjoy magnificent murals and street art.
8 Italian Magnificent Murals and Street Art :
One of the best street murals that you would find in Milan is in the Ortica district. The walls of the office blocks and railway bridges are filled with paintings that tell you the history of the place during the 20th century. Another mural that you should not miss in Milan is the Love Seeker and Heart Slingshot, located in the Garden of Cultures. Other than this, Milano Street Hi-Story, Music is a Neverending Journey, Lo Squalo, etc. are some other murals that you should see in Milan.
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The unique thing about street art in Rome is that most of the marvellous work is located in the outskirts and suburbs of the city. These murals have helped to make drab neighbourhoods attractive and interesting. The murals at Ex-Manicomio (previously a public mental institution) are both haunting and inspiring. Museo di Tor Marancia, San Basilio district, Ostiense district, Pigneto and Torpignattara, Forte Prenestino, Ex-Snia, etc. are other areas in Rome that have some of the best murals in the country.
Bologna is an old town with several historical buildings. But you must move out of the city centre if you want to see the hidden gems of street art. The modern building blocks of Via del Lavoro offer you some colourful artwork, while the vast green spaces at Giardini Lunetta Gamberini are covered with colourful murals and tags. Bologna is also a great place to witness the amazing works of the renowned artist Blu. Xm24, Via Emilio Zago, etc. are some places where you can see his works.
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Although Florence is not as popular for its street art as the other Italian cities, the mural and street art scene of the place is definitely flourishing. The street art of Florence is not just the artwork of Italian artists but international artists as well. Through these murals and artworks, the artists try to convey some unconventional or unique message. Clet, Exit/Enter, Blub, Hopnn Yuri, Carla Bru, Lediesis, Urban Solid, etc. are some of the street artists whose works you should check out when in Florence.
Rimini is a quiet beach resort that is the birthplace of Federico Fellini, the beloved film director of the country. The street art of the place is dedicated to images of his iconic films, including Casanova and La Dolce Vita. These images on pastel-coloured facades and walls make the wall art of Rimini worth seeing. Along with the images from the movies, you would also see murals of the town’s landmarks on the street.
Located 40-minutes away from Bologna, Dozza is a charming pocket-sized village. The place is an open-air gallery with some amazing pictures painted on its walls. A walk through the narrow streets of Dozza would give you the chance to see great paintings on facades, doors, windows, and archways. The murals and street art here reflect magic realism, surrealism, and local folktales. Dozza has also been hosting the Painted Walls Biennale since the 1960s.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Pisa is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. However, apart from this architectural marvel, Pisa is also becoming popular for its contemporary murals and street art. Right from residential buildings to factory walls, the street art of Pisa is everywhere. Walking along the streets of Pisa would give you the chance to observe the artworks of renowned artists like Blub, Keith Haring, Ozmo, Moneyless, etc.
The street art of Naples includes murals, graffiti, posters, stickers, and stencils. The artwork of Naples is not restricted to the suburbs but extends to the historical centre as well. One of the most popular artworks is the Murals of Maradona. Apart from this, Park of the Murals is another place you must visit to see 4 great street paintings. San Gennaro, Materdei, Massimo Troisi, etc. are some other places you must visit in Naples. Moreover, one of the must-see murals is Madonna with the gun, located in Piazza dei Girolamini.
Mugnano, Arcumeggia, Palermo, Turin, Genoa and Orgosolo are some other places in Italy where you can see incredible street art and murals. The street art of Italy reflects on its historical, political, religious, and social issues. If you are planning a holiday to Italy, do take a break from exploring the popular attractions to see its artistic and inspirational street art.