Museums have been closed in Rome for 3 months. As of last week they are finally reopening Monday-Friday, as Lazio returns to the glittering Yellow Zone restrictions. But while sites like the Colosseum and Capitoline Museums house some of the most important pieces of art and culture in the world, the beauty of street art should remind us of the constant and relentless creativity that this city has to offer, regardless of the century or price of admission. Let’s take a look at the street art of Torpignattara, one of the most international neighborhoods of Rome.
I meandered through the little visited Torpignattara neighborhood during this last lockdown with no real purpose other than to find random beauty, one of my favorite things. The most ethnically diverse zone of Rome is full of intoxicating scents, curries and meat and saffron laced rice dishes from international cuisines that are achingly hard to find in this city. And seemingly after 1 or 2 corners, you come upon gorgeous wall real estate, taken over by intense colors and provocative thought.
With detailed works by international and local artists alike, these ‘murale’ as they’re called, give a different perspective to the gentrification and shoddy public housing they usually grace. By bringing attention and artistry to the often forgotten neighborhoods of the world, street art is a pure reflection of the exact time and place of its creation. The surprise of searching and finding adds a sense of civic adventure, making an average stroll seem like a treasure hunt, an all too underrated form of interaction in these weird days.
So while museums are back and tickets and gift shops bleed sorely needed money back into our broken economy, take this little reminder to walk around now and again to honor the culture of this moment of time. On the house, of course.