Walking among the graffiti of Petilia Policastro

Petilia Policastro, graffiti and murals in an open-air museum
Petilia Policastro murales

© Giuseppe Caruso

Art and Culture

Nestled at the foot of Mount Gariglione, in the Sila Piccola (Sila National Park), Petilia Policastro is a mountain village in the province of Crotone that tells its story through street art and the now famous Petilia Policastro murals.

What to see in Petilia Policastro? Murals and graffiti in a veritable open-air museum, which through the visionary gaze of artist Giuseppe Caruso restores the contemporary slice of an ancient history.

The street art of Petilia Policastro

The built-up area of Petilia Policastro has Byzantine and Greek origins, which are still alive today in the toponymy, in some ancient local customs and in the presence of the Karst Caves, typical of the area, surrounded by rivers and underground lakes (such as the Basilian Caves of San Demetrio).

Over the years, Petilia Policastro has been able to reinvent itself through the contemporary tool of street art, entrusting a great muralist with the task of narrating and reworking its identity. A journey through images, telling of the old and the new in a succession of bright colours.

After a visit to the historic centre, which passes by numerous churches, the remains of an ancient castle and a number of aristocratic palaces, we turn into Vico Leone and immerse ourselves in the artistic face of Petilia Policastro: graffiti made using various techniques and brightly coloured murals embellish the façades of buildings and old abandoned houses, giving new light to what was in danger of falling into shadow. This is thanks to the Caruso family, artists by vocation, who with Renato first and Giuseppe later restored the vitality of colours to Petilia Policastro.

Petilia Policastro murales
Giuseppe Caruso

Anyone passing through Vico Leone, in Petilia Policastro, cannot fail to be moved by the charge of humanity expressed through its wonderful gallery of murals.

Giuseppe Caruso's murals

Looking closely at the Petilia Policastro murals, works by Giuseppe Caruso, we discover a series of subjects that range from the local to the universal, opening up parallel worlds that inspire adults and children alike.

A few examples? The mural depicting Ansel and Gretel, one on a swing and the other watering plants, has been mentioned nationally as one of the 6 most touching murals in the world.

The gesture of "taking flight" from a small reality is one of the themes dearest to the Petilia Policastro artist, who also takes it up in another famous mural depicting the great wings of Icarus, understood as a tutelary deity and guardian angel.

Petilia Policastro - murales ali
Giuseppe Caruso

And again, the tradition of actually living and playing in the street, as it used to be done in the past, returns in the iconic representation of children playing "hopscotch", with a work that takes up the numbered boxes of the famous game.

The invitation, addressed to young and old, is to re-appropriate public spaces and abandoned villages, reviving them with voices, laughter and colours, just as Giuseppe Caruso did in Petilia Policastro.

Petilia Policastro - murales campana
Giuseppe Caruso


Ultimo aggiornamento: May 6, 2024 8:58 AM