Palermo graffiti and street art

Palermo is a great place to find street art and graffiti with many works also relating to the city’s history and the mafia too, as Matt Fox-Tucker of BA Street Art discovered.

Stencil by C215 of Marlon Brando in ‘The Godfather’ at Mercato Vucciria

Another stencil of Marlon Brando from ‘The Godfather’ by an unknown artist

The regional capital of Sicily in southern Italy is a popular tourist destination famed for its palaces, churches and piazzas but it also has a growing reputation for its urban art with many top international street artists coming to decorate its alleyways and piazzas. While the Sicilian mafia is in decline, street art seems to be on the up, and in particular stencil art. This iconic portrait of Marlon Brando playing Don Vito Corleone from the movie ‘The Godfather’ was painted by French street artist C215.

Mural by Rosk & Loste of two brave judges killed by the Sicilian mafia near the port area

This five-storey mural by Rosk & Loste at Instituto Tecnico Statale Trasporti e Logistica is dedicated to two mafia-busting judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino and was completed in July 2017. Borsellino was killed by a mafia car bomb in Palermo, 57 days after his friend and fellow anti-mafia magistrate Giovanni Falcone was assassinated in Capaci.

Stencil of Bacchus by C215

C215 visited Palermo in 2015 to take part in a project following in the footsteps of  Italian master Caravaggio and painted 10 stencils around the city including this one of Bacchus.

Al Pacino stencil by C215

Another of the stencils by C215 features a portrait of American actor Al Pacino whose maternal grandparents are Italian from the Sicilian town of Corleone, 57 kilometres south of Palermo. Don Vito Corleone in ‘The Godfather’ trilogy takes his name from the town. Across the street from the stencil of Al Pacino you can also see a classic cat stencil by C215.

Mural by Julieta in Via Venezia in front of ‘Autolavaggio Venezia’

Another international street artist to visit Palermo recently was Julieta from Valencia, Spain. She painted a series of murals around the city in 2016.

Mural by Julieta along Via Bandiera

Heart or ‘cuore’ painted by Axel Void on Via Garraffello

Stencils by Tutto e Niente

A series of stencils by Italian stencil artist Tutto e Niente featuring fragments of women can be found near Ballero market.

Stencils by Tutto e Niente often depict women wearing headscarves

Paste-up of Mathilda from the movie ‘Leon’ by Bear Polar

A paste-up by Bear Polar featuring Natalie Portman as Mathilda in the Luc Besson movie ‘Leon’ (‘The Professional’) can be found off Via dei Candelai.

Wildstyle graffiti in an alleyway next to Mercato Ballaro

Medusa mural by Italian artist Oniro

Demolished buildings in Piazza Garraffello painted with different designs

Many more stencils and paste-ups and shutters painted by local artists can be found around Piazza Garrafello and the La Vucciria neighbourhood.

Paste-up by Sid and Pupo bubbito

Framed artwork by Ache 77

Stencil by Brooklyn artist Tripel

Pupo bubbito

Newspaper kiosk painted by Pupo bubbito on Via Roma and Via Vittorio Emanuele.

All photos © BA Street Art

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