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5 Dicembre 2019

Guide to urban art: Borgo San Paolo

Our journey to discover Turin’s urban art continues with comics, animals and the 2006 Olympics

Paride Pasini (translation by Giulia Schimmenti)

The mural made by Truly Design on Mycrom (photo by P. Pasini)

In the western part of Turin there is a small area that was developed between the 19th and 20th centuries thanks to the automobile industry. Over the years the area has undergone numerous transformations and redevelopments to recover the post-industrial heritage. It is the San Paolo district, among whose abandoned factories, art has found the right place to flourish freely.

Our journey begins at the end of corso Mediterraneo: in the middle of a large roundabout there is a fountain, the Igloo of Merz. The work was created in 2002 by the Milanese artist Mario Merz and symbolizes a fixed point around which everything revolves.

Crossing corso Lione, on the wall of the old factory of the Mater Ferro we find the mural created in 2015 by the Turin writer Francesco Barbieri, which shows a fleeting look at a city at sunset.

Continuing along corso Lione and crossing piazza Marmolada, we arrive in the part of the district that takes the name of Borgata Polo Nord, because in the past here a lot of snow was collected and the cold wind was channelled into the railway line that leads to Susa Valley. Today, instead of a factory, there is a park named after the athlete Pietro Mennea, in which various art pieces have been created. They recall both the shape of the mountains and the name of the area and are dedicated to the 2006 Winter Olympics.

We cross the square again and take via Spalato, where at number 59 we can make a journey into the world of comics: from Diabolik and Eva Kant to Mr. Linea, from Valentina to Corto Maltese up to the legendary Snoopy. The mural was created by Truly Design group on Mycrom, the art gallery located in the same building.

Turn right into via Millio and continue until you reach number 42. The Gabrio Social Centre is located in an old school. On one of the external facades you can admire the drawing of an activist who turned the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata into a comic strip, while inside other works represent the political battles and a Santa Muerte, a Mexican deity of pre-Columbian origin.

To conclude our tour, we take a quick left onto via Osasco and immediately turn right onto via Braccini. After the garden we take via D’Annunzio. Here there is a large parking lot that hides many murals made for the Murarte project: toucans, fish, wolves and deer, stylized flowers, legendary creatures, writings, caricatures, figurines of footballers, social and existential problems depicted with beautiful drawings.


In collaboration with Study in Torino


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