Street art Porretta Soul Festival, Archivio di, CC BY NC ND 4.0

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Street art and murals around Bologna

Updated on 27 August 2021 From eXtraBO Outdoor Infopoint

Did you know that our Territory, if you take the right alley, is able to surprise you with works of street art and beautiful murals? Find out where to admire them... with us!


Piazzetta degli Inganni – Piazzette Betlemme, San Giovanni in Persiceto

During the 1980s, Piazzetta Betlemme was a degraded part of San Giovanni in Persiceto. For this reason, it was chosen to host a summer cinematic event with the idea of painting a complex system of backdrops . A few years later, the project was extended to the surrounding two-storey houses, which were had been left in a general state of disarray. Gino Pellegrini, a famous set designer just returning from Hollywood, was given the task of shaping the idea. Pellegrini designed a tribute to cinema, a fairy-tale world between rural and western animated by tromp l'oeil elements. In 1990, the little square was repainted with a play of painted scaffolding that stood out in a typically Po valley landscape of old walls and cultivated fields. Pellegrini himself later created new deceptions: the piazzetta became a revelry of vegetables and fantastic animals, as if the spectator were jumping into the world of Alice in Wonderland, among giant cauliflowers, flying donkeys and tall geese. In addition to astonished tourists, it is nowadays possible to see how this magical corner has become part of the village's custom: years ago, when a house was being demolished, the owner insisted on saving the painted wall at his own expense... a true pride for the village.

Dozza, a boundless art gallery


Every two years Dozza lends itself, like a canvas, to the creative flair of national and international artists. 

In 1960, on the occasion of the opening of the Rocca Sforzesca to the public, an artists' competition called the "Painted Wall" was organised. The event was so successful in its first edition that it became a regular event: "The Biennial of the Painted Wall".

Almost immediately, the event lost its connotation of a "competition" in favour of highlighting the essence of the artists. Today, as in the past, it is still possible to admire them live at work and interact with them as they conceive their creations.

The walls of the houses come to life with spectacular works of art, converting this precious village into a timeless art gallery without borders or boundaries. 

No tickets required, no timetable, no barriers. The paintings blend in with the windows, the arches and the doors of the houses... like "The Angel of Dozza": a majestic angelic figure that lies on the ground leaning against a doorway, almost as a sign of protection for the house he eternally watches over. 

Stroll through the streets of Dozza and be yourself the protagonist of this perpetual work of art.... 

Porretta terme - Porretta street art

The "Porretta Street Art" project arose in the wake of the success of the Porretta Soul Festival, an event set up in 1988 and now considered the most important European celebration in the field of rhythm and blues. Its founder, Graziano Uliani, started out with the idea of establishing a festival dedicated to Otis Redding, but then the event grew to become a real link between Italy and the most important soul and blues artists (Swamp Dogg, The Menphis Horns, Joe Simon, Wilson Pickett, Isaac Hayes and many others). This year, 2021, the Porretta Soul celebrations have been enriched with a "section" dedicated to murals, with 10 paintings now adorning the town, each created by a different artist. Thanks to their talent, a walk through the streets of Porretta becomes an incredible experience, a journey between art and music, brought together in a union dedicated to the warm notes of the blues. Perhaps the most emblematic mural of the project is "Soul Men" by Antonio Cotecchia, which pays homage to four great performers: Solomon Burke (his final song in "The Blues Brothers"), Wilson Pickett (one of the main exponents of R&B), James Carr (he was a guest at Porretta Soul in 1992) and Eddie Hinton (his only European performance was at the Soul Festival in 1991).

We definitely encourage you to visit this small international town set in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines and to discover all its tributes to music and art.

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