Both the historic centre of Forlì and its surrounding areas express a journey through time that has enabled the city to redevelop its urban spaces thanks to the symbolic power of street art.
The most recent works were created between 2016, the year in which Gomez created the work 'Melodia del sogno' next to the San Domenico Museums, and 2019. However, as early as 1976, Forlì had chosen artistic creations of this type to celebrate historical and cultural events of great impact and called on exceptional artists to do so.
Let's start from the first city murals painted in 1976: our first stage bears testament to the overthrow of the democratic government in Chile in 1973, evoked three years later in two works created by the Chilean exiles, Alejandro Rodriguez (known as Nestor) and Christian Olivares Thomsen. The two men travelled to Romagna where, thanks to a collaboration with students from some of the city’s high schools, they created their murals which are still visible today in Via Minardi and Viale Roma, near the Municipal stadium. The works have recovered their original glory with aid from associations, students and the entire community of Forlì thanks to the restoration work on them completed between 2017 and 2018.
The second stage of our itinerary dedicated to Forlì’s public art continues along a short route in search of the street art created for the 2018 edition of the Murali Street Art Festival inspired by the 70th anniversary of the Italian Constitution.
Proceeding along Viale Roma towards the centre, the itinerary makes a stop at the Paul Harris Library, inside the Parco della Resistenza, where Camilla Falsini's brightly coloured blocks express the principles of equality, freedom and participation. After a wander through the park, one of the city’s oldest, you continue along Corso della Repubblica until you reach Piazza Saffi. Leaving the square, you pass the Basilica of San Mercuriale and go along Via dei Filergiti until you reach Piazza Del Carmine where you can observe the work by Millo with its surprising play of hues mixing whites, greys and bright colours. In the nearby Via Francesco Nullo, you can admire the mural created by Zed1, with its almost fairytale flavour.
The remaining works, created in 2018, adorn the facades of the public and private buildings in the Museum District, and further enhance the atmosphere of this area. In addition to the work by Gomez mentioned earlier, within the vicinity of the San Domenico Museums - famous for hosting exhibitions of international appeal - you can also view a work by Gola Hundun at the corner with Via Andrelini. Moreover, on the opposite side of the square you can admire the works of Moneyless, in Via Leone Cobelli, and that of Eron, which decorates vicolo San Domenico, a small and suggestive alley.
This stroll of discovery of Forlì’s street art concludes with another short itinerary to get a close-up view of the works created during the 2019 Murali Street Art Festival.
In 2019, the bicentenary of the birth of Aurelio Saffi, a leading figure of the Risorgimento both nationally and in Forlì, offered an opportunity to narrate the artistic, musical, social and technological changes of that era. Once again, Forlì attracted internationally renowned artists to give form to these memories. The latest area of street art was again focused around Piazza Saffi, where the Basilica of San Mercuriale stands. Proceeding in the order in which you will meet them, you will first see the mural by Sema Lao in Via dei Filergiti, an interpretation of Aurelio and Giorgina Saffi, then the murals by Andrea Ravo Mattoni and Basik both in Via Maceri, dedicated respectively to the Forlì artist Annibale Gatti and to technological progress, and finally, Hyuro's work in Via Francesco Nullo, at the corner of Via Fratti, a true homage to photography.
Finally, leaving the city’s historic centre you will find what is possibly the largest and most complex mural present, together with those of the 70s, namely, the grandiose mural that decorates the Santa Chiara Roundabout where the “Romagna in Fiore” Association has depicted the fascinating history of trains and railways.