When most people think of Rome they consider the world of the classics, they think of architecture that has withstood the test of time, of ancient structures and towering statues. But they fail to imagine the fact that Rome is a cultural hub of street art. This art movement, although much more contemporary to other art work in the city is actually believed to be tied to cave paintings from a bygone era. Though, they’re far more sophisticated than etchings on a cave wall, each of the paintings mentioned here are an example of the thriving network of urban art that exists in the city.
While stumbling on a piece of street art is all part of the experience, the city has created a map and itineraries to guide visitors as they explore these intense and often vulnerable pieces of artwork displayed in the most unconventional spaces. We’ve divided all our favorite pieces by neighborhood so be sure to check out all these places because there is a lot more to explore.
Mural on Via Galeazzo Alessi, Villa Certosa
Turquoise backdrops and dream-like eyes will be the haunting quality of this mural spanning the walls on Via Galeazzo Alessi. This mural which runs alongside the railway was organized by an association of artists named walls and was created in collaboration with a number of artists : Agostino, Arturo, David Vecchiato, Dem, Iuri, Jb Rock & Diamonds, Jonathan Pannaccio’, Lapisanplus, Serpi in Seno, Sten and Lex and Tommaso Garavini
Coffee Break on Via Ludovico Pavoni
This 32m mural was powered by Etam Cru and painted by a pair of polish artists. Interestingly enough many of the buildings residents would offer coffee to the painters and so this gesture of kindness was honored through the mural.
Tom Sawyer Via Gabrio Serbelloni
This iconic piece of work shows the character Tom Sawyer cleverly depicted by French street art pioneer Jef Aerosol. Accompanying this work is a quote which says “You cannot touch the ground until you’ve reached the sky”.
Monster on Via Decio Mure
Mr. Thoms uses the darkness of the tunnel to depict the face of a monster, sucking everything around him, from street signs to traffic cones and plants. And if that’s not enough he paints him a little 3D top hat!
Temper Tot/Baby Hulk on Via dei Pisoni
This character painted by New York contemporary artist Ron English depicts the incredible hulk as an angry toddler showing another side to unbridled brawn and power.
Hornet’s Nest on Via Monte Del Grano
In 1944 the Nazi’s called the quarter of Quadraro a “hornet’s nest” for its ability to resist oppressor’s attacks. This mural by Lucamaleonte is painted in memory of the Quadraro raid of 1944 and the quarters enduring influence against fascism.
Fronte Del Porto on Via del Porto Fluviale
This building once a former barrack is now the canvas for an extensive mural by BLU depicting the faces of several monsters and using the windows for their eyes.
Fish’n Kids on Via del Porto Fluviale
Agostino Iacurci uses the façade of Ostiense’s fish market as the back drop for his painting of a gigantic figure swimming in a sea full of fish with drowning hands outstretched.
Wall of Fame on Via dei Magazzini Generali
In this 60-meter mural artist JB Rock depicts famous characters from A to Z from Dante Alighieri to Frida Kahlo to Zorro! The artist also depicts himself among the figures in the paintings and in the letter M we find a painting of his mom.
Female Faces on Via dei Sabelli
Alice Pasquini’s colorfully vibrant mural celebrates womanhood and carries strong feminist themes. Most of Alice’s works depict strong independent women, so keep an eye out for her artwork on the streets.
Femicide Mural on Via Dei Sardi
This mural showing paper cut women realized by Elisa Caracciolo denounces femicide through placing the names of women who were victims of violence and abuse by men.
Jumping Wolf on Via Galvani
It’s a wonder how Belgian street artist ROA managed to paint this 30-meter-high mural of a wolf bracing for attack in a day! During the afternoon when this painting was finished Testaccians were watching in awe at ROA’s brush work.