Street Art in Rome: where to see it and how to book a tour
For those visiting Rome who think they have seen all there is to see in the Urbs Aeterna, may we suggest a different kind of activity?
If you’re into art, and particularly that of the contemporary kind, you might be amenable to taking an open-air tour to enjoy the fascinating works by some of the world’s leading street artists.
Yes, indeed: Rome has long been at the heart of the international street art scene and while it cannot boast a Banksy, as Naples does, it does feature the oeuvre of such names as Blu, Agostino Iacurci, David Vecchiato, Lucamaleonte, Sten&Lex and many others.
And it doesn’t end there! The city hosts several street art festivals, most of them set up as charitable events, while this vast, bona-fide cultural heritage has even ended on dedicated maps and apps.
Finally, many street art-centered tours are beginning to be planned all over the city and are increasingly being suggested to those visitors who want to enjoy the “current Rome” and are curious about this new form of art.
Because these large masterpieces are not in the city center but are located on apartment complexes in several suburbs which are at a significant distance from one another, an organized tour focusing on the one district or the one artist is usually the best way to go about it – the best approach for those who don’t want to be overwhelmed, and particularly in this instance, want to make the most of a local to get to know… the local scene!
So where is the best street art in Rome?
Obviously it should come as no surprise that the largest, most visible pieces of street art in Rome are not in the city center. In spite of small pieces by such artists as Solo, Space Invaders or Clet appearing in the center, the buildings there are protected by strict restrictions and actual street artists respect the history of a place like Rome.
Instead, they brought their work to less known areas, creating an alternative tourist routes in boroughs that are authentic, beautiful and – sometimes – yet to be discovered by foreign visitors.
- Quadraro: a unique borough in south-east Rome, which was collectively attributed the civilian medal of valor for opposing the Nazis during WWII. The “M.U.Ro. Museo di Urban Art di Roma” covers much of its territory as well as neighboring Centocelle.
- Tor Pignattara: joined at the hip with trendy district Pigneto, this mostly gentrified area is home to some of the most spectacular street art in the city. And the food is not bad either!
- Tor Marancia: the street art in this area close to the must-visit EUR district was born out of the necessity to rehabilitate what was for many years known as a slum with drug trafficking issues. Now no more: the money earned by the guides here goes towards sustainable projects which support the neighborhood itself.
Got your interest? Great!
By the way, our tour guides partners at Joy of Rome do offer one of such tours in the hip Ostiense district: in the past it has only been available in Italian, but now you can also enjoy it in English: you can see more details at this address and book directly from the very same page if interested.