Street Art Festival Breathes New Life Into Semi-Abandoned Italian Town

Snik mural in Molise


Italy has long fought against its decrease in population, which has led to many small centers transforming into ghost towns. But for one tiny village in central Italy, street art has breathed new life into what was once a depopulated area. Located in the Molise region, Civitacampomarano has hosted the CVTà Street Fest for the past nine years. This multi-day celebration of art and culture draws artists from around the world, who use their public art to draw attention to the beauty of this village.

Founded by artist Alice Pasquini, who has familial roots in the town, the event has been an annual draw that has increased the city's visibility. This year, four artists contributed new artwork to the more than 70 pieces of public art produced since 2016. As always, the entire community got involved to help support the artists and the visitors who flock to the town throughout the festival.

British duo Snik transformed the side of a home into a tribute to the resilience of Civitacampomarano's citizens. Their portrait of a woman enveloped by a crown of flowers and leaves looks at the power of living alongside nature. This is particularly impactful in the setting, as portions of the old town, built high up on a cliff, have slowly crumbled away. Yet still, those who remain have found a way to soldier on.

Dimitris Trimintzios, also known as TAXIS, worked right up until the final moments of the festival to complete his large-scale mural of a girl sitting in a landscape. The composition plays perfectly in the setting, as the home sits at the far end of town, up on a hill that overlooks the lush landscape. Trimintzios' surreal color palette provides a nice contrast that blends shockingly well with the environment at sunset when the sky lights up with bright colors.

Spanish artist Octavi Serra used clever graphic design and playful installations to encourage the public to think about their surroundings. Whether playing with arrows to guide visitors or creating a new door where one previously existed, his thought-provoking work added a layer of nuance to the festival.

Lastly, Anders Gjennsted created a piece that continues his series, A Tale of Two, which he's been working on for the past six months.  Exploring themes of affection, boundaries and trust, and the general struggle for acceptance, it always shows two people locked in some sort of embrace. After completing his large wall, he then went out and explored the old part of the village and, as is tradition with the artists who paint here, finished a second painting on an abandoned door.

Scroll down for more images from the festival and a video that captures its unique spirit.

Civitacampomarano, a small village in central Italy, has used street art to stop its town's depopulation.

TAXIS mural in Civitacampomarano


Strok mural in Civitacampomarano

Anders Gjennestad (Strøk)

Now in its ninth year, the annual CVTà Street Fest brings international art to the town.

Alice Pasquini painting in Civitacampomarano

Alice Pasquini

TAXIS at work on a mural in Civitacamporano


Octavi Serra mural in Civitacampomarano

Octavi Serra

This year, four artists brought new pieces of public art to the town.

Snik mural in Molise


Alice Pasquini mural in Civitacampomarano

Alice Pasquini

Strok Stencil on a door in Civitacampomarano

Anders Gjennestad (Strøk)

Octavi Serra art installation in Civitacampomarano

Octavi Serra

Watch this video to understand how the whole town contributes to the success of the art festival.


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A post shared by Cvtà Street Fest (@cvtastreetfest)

CVTà Street Fest: Website | Facebook | Instagram

All images by Ian Cox. My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by CVTà Street Fest.

Related Articles:

Small Village in Italy is Using Street Art to Fight Against Depopulation

Street Art Is Used to Bring Life to This Small Depopulated Italian Village

97-Year-Old Grandpa Saves Village by Painting Buildings with Colorful Art

Street Artists Revive Spanish Village with Murals Celebrating Local Tradition

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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