Borgo Vecchio Campidoglio: The district of Turin that has become an “open-air museum”
Turin is made up of different districts, each of which hides curiosity, beauty and charm. Some more than others resemble small quartiers and by wandering through their streets you find the atmosphere typical of little villages while remaining within a large city. This is the case of Borgo Vecchio Campidoglio, a sub-district of the Piedmontese capital which straddles the Parella and San Donato districts. A working-class district from the end of the 19th century, Borgo Campidoglio is today an essentially residential area of Turin, made of small houses with internal courtyards and green areas, low buildings, narrow streets, play areas, squares, artisan shops and restaurants that make it more like a small village and not a neighborhood of a big city.
In addition to this country village atmosphere, Borgo Campidoglio offers numerous places of interest and curiosity. Majestic and imposing stands the Church of Sant’Alfonso above the small houses of the Turin neighborhood Maria de ‘Liguori: the neo-baroque building, built in the late nineteenth century, strongly desired by the theologian Domenico Bongioanni, a pupil of Don Giovanni Bosco. But the main feature of Borgo Campidoglio, which distinguishes it from the other Turin districts and hamlets, is the presence of many murals and art installations set on the walls of the houses, on fake windows whose cornice has become the frame of a painting, between the doors of the houses, on the shutters of the shops, on the benches, on the walls of the gardens and in many other places.
Borgo Vecchio Campidoglio is in fact the seat of the MAU – Museum of Urban Art of Turin which is, to all intents and purposes, the first open-air contemporary art museum in an urban center of Italy. An incredible open-air museum which houses over 170 works created by numerous artists who have left their art and imprint on the walls of this Turin district. Here, strolling through the cobbled streets you will come across whale giants, mountain landscapes, portraits, trompe-l’oeil, flower growers, benches inspired by great artists and so on. Among the various works that were carried out in the village between 2002 and 2010 there are those of Fathi Hassan, Salvatore Astore, Enrico De Paris, Theo Gallino, Vittorio Valente, Andrea Massaioli, Bruno Sacchetto, Gianluca Nibbi, Pasquale Filannino, Antonio Carena, Amar, Monica Carocci and Gianni Gianasso.
In the gardens of Piazza Moncenisio there are instead the “Artist’s benches”, colorful seats painted by the artist Turin Vito Navolio in homage to ten great masters of contemporary art worldwide: Piet Mondrian, Andy Warhol, Niki De Saint Phalle, Keith Haring, Hans Hartung, Fathi Hassan, Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Mirò, Pablo Picasso, Fortunato Depero. At Borgo Campidoglio you walk with your nose up, always ready to scrutinize a work, a drawing, a color and a pinch of art and beauty. Below you can find the fantastic artworks sorted by artists. – Guida Torino
Open Air Gallery: MAU – Museum of Urban Art
Photographer: LUIGI SAVOIA
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