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Orgosolo, Sardinia’s Famous Mural City

Art, Economics and the History of a Mountain Village Depicted in Murals

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Interwoven in the history of the mountain village called Orgosolo are tales of banditry, vendetta, war, and social unrest. You’ll find them depicted in the famous murals of Orgosolo.

orgosolo mural
Orgosolo Mural

One of Italy’s “economic miracles” collapsed in the late 60’s, resulting in a great number of strikes and general unrest. The oil crises of 1973 was the last straw. The social discontent of this period is represented in over 200 murals painted on the surfaces of the modest houses of the village.

Anarchists from Milan created the first mural and signed it “Dioniso”. Later, a teacher, Francesco Del Casino encouraged his students to paint on the walls. Soon the students were joined by more accomplished artists and the boom (in murals at least) began.

By the early 80’s the economy began yet another “economic miracle” allowing the artists to look back on the traditions of the Sardinian village, painting families and scenes of village life.

orgosolo mural
A Mural in Orgosolo

In many of these murals your eyes focus on the enormous hands. It is less an artistic marker than a reality. Sardinian shepherds are found all over Italy. If you look hard enough, you can recognize them by their hands. See: A Show of Hands.

The had a local flavor in the 70s. Today the walls of Orgosolo have turned into a  canvas for artists from all over, and the political messages have expanded from local to a world view.

You must visit. If you don’t mind crowds, you can visit during the fall festival called Autonno in Barbagia. See: Barbagia: What to Expect.

Getting to Orgosolo

Orgosolo lies about 17 miles to the shout of the provincial capital of Nuoro. The mountain roads will take about 26 minutes to navigate. You can take the #509 bus from Nuoro as well.

Other Mural Villages

The town of Tinnura outside of Bosa features a much different style of street art. Near Cagliari you’ll find San Sperate, with some very witty murals.

orgosolo mural
An Orgosolo Family

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At A Glance

Address:
Orgosolo
Sardinia
Price:
n/a

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