Unexpected Rome: Murals of Tor Marancia

Visitors are sometimes surprised by the amount of graffiti in Rome, with illegible squiggles scrolled across most walls. I’m not a fan of the spray paint on every door, but I do appreciate Rome’s growing street art scene, especially when the murals are part of a social project the way they are in Tor Marancia.

Entrance to the neighboorhood area with these impressive street art murals is completely free. To find them, simply head for Via Tor Marancia 63.

It is pretty easy to know when you are in the right place because the art is several stories high.

Rome street art

Tor Marancia is not an area of Rome that most people visit, which is the whole point of the art project that was created here in 2015.

The street art project was dreamed up by 999Contemporary and is known as Big City Life.

The organizers worked with the community and the City of Rome to bring a bit of brightness to this just outside the center neighborhood. The under-appreciated area was often overlooked because it is characterized by public housing. Luckily, the city granted permission for the art project to take place because it is the capital that actually owns the buildings.

Tor Marancia Rome

The residents were involved and then 999Contemporary brought in the international street artists to create the four-story-high designs.

Veni Vidi Vinci

There are 22 works centered around this one block of apartments and each is done in a style unique to each artist.

You can book a tour with 999Contemporary, or visit the site yourself and examine the plaques that give the name of the work and the artist.

Rome is certainly best known for its more classical art and ancient history, but I love that this project focused on highlighting a part of Rome that does not get as much attention.

A trip out to Tor Marancia can be a welcome break from the crowds of the historic center and gives you a glimpse into the Rome of real Romans.

For that reason, we shot parts of the video about the other side of Rome in the courtyard.

A map might make the murals look deceptively close to Garbatella but they are on the other side of a major road. I would suggest a taxi or private transportation in order to get here.

2 Comments

  • Reply Dario July 18, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    Absolutely love this post.
    I confess I’ve never visited the area myself, which is quite regrettable as I can see!
    Rome’s art scene revolving solely around the Renaissance and Baroque period is one of the most persistent myths surrounding the Eternal City.
    I have lost count of how many times in the US I heard Rome’s artistic appeal being referred to in such a stereotypical fashion.
    Not only is that not the case, but the City involvement in this project, as in so many other contemporary art promoting events, shows that local people and authorities do have an appetite for innovative, alternative art movements.
    A myth that definitely needs to be debunked, and this post is a fine contribution to that.

    • Reply Natalie July 23, 2018 at 10:46 am

      Hi Dario! I am so glad that you agree regarding Rome’s art scene. My husband is an artist here so I take a keen interest in the balance between the historical treasures of the city and the contemporary initiatives. I wish there was more funding available but I am also happy that the city of Rome supported a project like this (or, at least allowed the project to take place) and hope for more come in the future!

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