Like any other great metropolitan city, Rome has always had street art. The city’s known for its rich artistic history, and the existence of a strong urban artistic tradition continues to pulse through the streets of different neighborhoods.
In recent years, the city has begun to embrace its urban artists. Artists have been commissioned by public and private organizations to create large-scale works. These efforts are often integrated into urban renewal and revitalization campaigns. Students who study abroad should consider exploring the city’s rich tapestry of street art in addition to the more well-known, historical art of the museums and galleries. Read on to learn about four neighborhoods with highly visible and important street art campaigns.
Quadraro’s Outdoor Museum of Urban Art
The Quadraro district to the south of Rome was famous during World War II for the intensive anti-fascist resistance of the citizens who lived there. Today, though the conditions may be very different, the spirit of community solidarity lives on, especially through its urban art.
The neighborhood has long been a key location for street art, but these efforts were officialized in 2010 with the MURo project of local artist David Vecchiato. Muro in Italian means “wall”, but the name is also an acronym for Museum of Urban Art of Rome. This project engages with community locals continuously to commission large-scale pieces by both Italian and international artists.
Trullo’s Collaborative Artistic Spirit
Trullo is a neighborhood with a feisty and bright artistic spirit. The neighborhood is renowned for the talent of its street poets, and hosts an exciting festival dedicated to the art of street poetry. The festival’s first year spurred a different kind of artistic practice, bringing disparate groups together to revitalize Trullo with urban art.
The Poeti del Trullo, or poets of Trullo, used the festival as an occasion to join ranks with an organization of radical local painters. The Pittori Anonimi del Trullo¸ or anonymous painters of Trullo, had been using their artistic talents to repaint social housing in colorful, creative styles. Both groups got together to paint complex, collaborative multi-medium works of street art and poetry around the neighborhood. Trullo is also known for its large murals paying homage to strong women like Frida Kahlo and Greta Thunberg, painted by the artist Manuela Merlo Uman. Trullo should be a destination on the itinerary of any student who wants to study abroad in Italy.
Enjoy the Urban Art of San Lorenzo When You Study Abroad
San Lorenzo, to the eastern side of Rome, has historically been a working-class neighborhood. The district behind Termini station’s train tracks was heavily bombed during the Second World War, but in recent years there has been a concentrated revitalization effort. This is in part due to the influx of a younger demographic, entering from the nearby Sapienza University.
These revitalization projects, initiated by both private and public campaigns, have resulted in a large amount of interesting and important street art in San Lorenzo. These large, colorful murals have been painted by local artists as well as those from Iran, Peru, Russia, and France. They include works by the popular artists Alice Pasquini, Borondo, and C215.
Ostiense’s Rich Public Art
Ostiense is a historic district to the south of Rome, used for industrial purposes through the start of the 20th century. As the deindustrialization of the West picks up speed, residents are searching for different ways to conceive of Ostiense. As any international students in Italy who visit the district would see, urban art has played a key part in the revitalization of this district.
Significant redevelopment projects have recently been hosted in Ostiense, and these efforts include street art. The public housing complex Tor Marancia has been painted by a crowd of different commissioned artists. There are also many paintings under the railway bridge on Via Ostiense, in addition to other local spots.
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