Tour of Rome's Street Art and Graffiti

Although Rome’s Street Art scene is less renowned than say that of LA, London or Berlin, the alternative graffiti culture is growing year on year. In an emerging scene with new artists spreading their wings – or spraying their cans – across the city, Rome’s the one-to-watch. Walking through the streets of the city, from the historical centre to the student hub, there are colloquial murals everywhere from in-your-face takeovers to blink-and-you-miss-it icons. With a wealth of undiscovered and underappreciated artists, huge inroads have been made to legalise walls for people to practice their craft. Although some disapprove; you can’t deny that it’s a step in the right direction when it comes to embracing regulated new forms of expression. Although you won’t find much real street art in the tourist hubs in Rome (bored adolescent graffiti doesn’t count) you’ll be more successful widening your search out to the more local areas around railways lines and under bridges, in and around Trastevere, Pigneto and San Lorenzo districts. To get a flavour of what Rome has to offer, the MondoPop Gallery, near the Spanish Steps, exhibits some of the best street artists on the scene, both from Rome and internationally. You'll get a flavour of what the city has to offer and even spot some names you’ll recognise dotted around the streets afterwards. San Lorenzo, the student hub, is rife with impressive colourful murals and messages from the city’s creative undergraduates. It’s often the place artists start out before moving up to other districts. Walk under the Scalo di San Lorenzo and via dei Volsci for a look at Rome’s budding artists. Also, on Via dei Sabelli you’ll see Alice Pasquini’s work, too. Head to Volturno, near Termini station, if you want to get really involved and see how it’s done. Pigneto is the chosen area for many of Rome’s top artists. Walk through these cobbled streets and uncover the new world; Rome’s modern, urban undercurrent amidst the historical district. Look out for the signatures Hogre, Alt97, Uno, Hopnn and #cancelletto# as they take Pigneto as their turf, claiming walls and surfaces as their canvasses. Take it all in, the next time you visit they might not be there – not every Roman is as pro the urbanisation of their city as others. Check out the former cinemas Preneste for other spellbinding designs, too. Ostienese is now host to the Outdoor Festival and 999 Contemporary art shows which invite like-minded artists from around the world to show in their city. These shows encourage artists to share and paint legal walls to inspire the industry to grow. Blu is considered one of the most famous Italian artists in the world; and he can’t pass through the area without adorning it with one of his signature pieces. Look out for his Porto Fluviale, his most recent addition. Trastevere although both a local and tourist mecca, has recently become the host to new works by Omino71 and Mr. Klevra – so look out the next time you’re across the river. Whether you’re for or against Street Art, you should be able to appreciate Rome’s changing urban landscape. Street art and graffiti highlight the juxtaposition between the old and new so it's only fair that Rome is allowed to keep up with its capital counterparts in terms of artistic expression.

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