Street art and community roots at Rome’s Quadraro neighborhood
So you thought Rome was all about BCs and ancient artwork. Understandably so, if we think of all the beauty and art and frescoes and carvings scattered all around town from imperial times to the Renaissance period. As its moniker suggest, however, art production in the eternal city looks quite alive and kicking still today.
During a photographers’ outing, last Saturday I strolled around Rome’s Quadraro neighborhood in the lookout of its famous murals. I had been wanting to photograph the street art of the eternal city quite for some time but never really had the occasion. It must be the ancient charm and wisdom, but it’s more common in Rome, in fact, to just hang out in the city center, both for tourists and locals, so yesterday I was happy to take advantage of the situation and explore a district that was quite new to me.
Founded in 2010 by artist David “Diavù” Vecchiato, this street art project is known by the name of “MURo“, acronym for Museum of Urban Art of Rome that plays, in Italian, also with the word “muro” meaning “wall”, as these graffitis are precisely all over the walls of the neighborhood. The main goal of MURo project has been to make artists relate to the community, specifically the one living in Quadraro neighborhood, interpreting and respecting the spirit of the place by being shared with the residents and confronted with their ideas and their personal stories.
As Rome’s city center is often described as an open-air museum thanks to its archaeological vestiges, Quadraro can easily be considered its contemporary counterpart, with the perks of being free, public and starting from the bottom of the society, rather than being commissioned by emperors, or rather the council or any governmental body, as it’s maybe more appropriate nowadays. Officially started in 2012 with the patronage of Comune di Roma, the project is always evolving, and new murals are being created by the day.
With the closest metro station being Porta Furba Quadraro along line A, start your tour from Largo dei Quintili, carrying on to Via dei Lentuli, Via dei Pisoni and the streets off these main ones to admire the work of artists such as Nicola Alessandrini, Diavù, Marco About Bevivino, Alberto Corradi, Camilla Falsini, Massimo Giacon, Lucamaleonte, Alice Pasquini, Paolo Petrangeli, Gio Pistone, Irene Rinaldi, Alessandro Sardella and Mr. Thoms from Italy, Jim Avignon, Gary Baseman, Ron English and Beau Stanton from the US, Zelda Bomba from France, Dilkabear from Kazakhstan, and Malo Farfan from Mexico.