I know, not quite what you expect to see when you come here, and for some of you it may be a bit disappointing. I get many a shocked reaction form tourists that are visiting Italy for the first time. In fact I am asked ALL THE TIME, "so whats with all the graffiti around here?, its so horrible, why do people do that?" While yes they are right, it is horrible especially when its on the side of a historical building or the first thing you see as you approach a new city by train, I have never, in all of my years working with tourists been able to understand why they think I have the answer to that question. I don't know!! I imagine its the same reason why people graffiti anywhere in the world. A form of artistic expression? A rebellious act against authority? I really don't know what's with all the graffiti! So please stop asking! But maybe we should think of it as part of the culture and something that the Italians have been doing for centuries and that they are simply continuing with tradition, its new contemporary form.....
sgraffiti, which means to be scratched into the surface. (of course they did, what didn't the Italians invent? Ok so yeah it was used in ancient Greece too, but the Renaissance artisans, they perfected it.) It was a technique that was widely used here in Florence during the 16th century to decorate the facades of buildings. If you keep your eyes open you can see this throughout the city. It really is quite beautiful. Unfortunately this style of graffiti is no longer the preferred method of young street artists today.
|photo courtesy of Stefano Gusmeroli http://www.viabregaglia.com/ita/route/06/index.php|
|photo courtesy of Roma Antica http://www.roma-antica.co.uk/page_1260630366807.html|
this is actually a site that the city decided to dedicate to the graffiti artists. I love the idea and think this looks great, too bad there are not more spaces like this for them to work!