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Art & Culture

Friuli Venezia Giulia

Trieste as you've never seen it: an itinerary to discover street art

04 November 2022

3 minutes

Umberto Saba speaking of his city said, 'Trieste has a surly grace'. Indeed, he fully captured its soul: a meeting point between two worlds, Mitteleuropean at heart, borderland par excellence with a deeply melancholic streak.

Trieste is waiting to be discovered: to really get to know it is perhaps impossible, but an alternative route, from a different point of view, is the one that covers its works of street art. In fact, scattered in different parts of the city, you can find the beautiful murals of Trieste created by international artists to redevelop areas in a state of neglect. 

1. The beginning: the Melara Quadrilateral

trieste street art quadrilatero

For our tour of Trieste's murals, we start with the Quadrilateral of Melara, standing near the large hospital of Cattinara.
The working-class neighbourhood built between 1969 and 1982 has an imposing structure designed as a self-sufficient village, but which today can be classified as an eco-eyesore, so much so that it has earned the nickname Alcatraz from Trieste’s inhabitants.
The neighbourhood has come back to life, changing its appearance and showing its potential over the last decade thanks to a redevelopment of its spaces.

In 2010, in fact, the Melart association, which deals with the dissemination of culture and art, began an artistic-creative process to encourage young people to discover the wonders of street art, a democratic form of expression that can be enjoyed by all par excellence. 

2. The Valmaura district: 11 works for 27 artists

trieste street art valmaura district

To date, 27 artists have collaborated to create a total of 11 works, the last of which was completed in the summer of 2022 in via dei Macelli 1: the Venetian artist Peeta, with his unmistakable technique, created a gigantic mural played on red and white, the colours of the Triestina football team.
With this, the Valmaura district redevolpment, one of the richest in works was finished. Also completing the cycle developed on the sports facilities here, namely the Nereo Rocco stadium, with the portrait of the famous IVES.ONE coach and Mattia Campo Dall'Orto, and the Giuseppe Grezar stadium, where we find Zeno and his conscience, dedicated to the character created by Italo Svevo from Trieste, by the Cadmio collective.
Also in this area, on Via Valmaura, is the mural by Caktus & Maria dedicated to Stefano Furlan, a fan who died tragically at the age of just 20 in the 1980s following clashes with police after a match.

3. The Altura district inspires

trieste street art altura quarter

We now move on to the Altura district, where the artist Kiki Skipi has created I naviganti di sogni e di storie (The sailors of dreams and stories) in the garden on Via Alpi Giulie: the protagonists of classic fairy tales are revisited as navigating heroes, full of strength and courage. A new key that wants to inspire everyone, not just children, to dream and believe in themselves. A poetic and meaningful message, delicately communicated. 

4. The new face of Borgo San Sergio

trieste street art borgo san sergio

Our artistic wanderings then stop in Borgo San Sergio to see Sara and Davide Comelli's ImmaginAZIONE, dedicated to the Barcolana: the duo has given a new face to the popular building in Via Grego, part of the complex known as the Smurfs' houses for some blue walls, the only touch of colour.

5. One city, four zones

trieste street art four zones

The works in collaboration with AcegasApsAmga with an environmental theme, found in four locations in the city, are by Alessandra Carloni. Respect for nature, energy, living in harmony with one's surroundings, and daily commitment are the themes we find in Opicina, Piazza Sansovino, on the wall of the Collection Centre in Via Carbonara, and in Viale Miramare.
That Miramare protagonist of the SEEtheSEA pun that gives the title to the next work on our tour, created on the outside wall of the La Lanterna municipal bath, also known as the 'Pedocin', a very special place: it is the only one in Europe that still maintains separate zones for men and women.

6. November sees the opening of an exhibition for the greatest of street artists

trieste street art inauguration

The grand finale? A visit to the Urbanwear shop, where among clothing and accessories, it displays over 50 works of street art. But, if you still can't get enough, the Banksy, the Great Communicator Unauthorised exhibition, tracing the artist's career from the very beginning, opens on 25 November at the Salone degli Incanti. There will be more than 60 works on display as well as installations and educational paths to enter the world of the greatest street artist ever.

Trieste is constantly evolving: street art confirms its proverbial ability to combine beauty and colour with striking images, never merely decorative but of great communicative value. 

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