Napoli in counterculture




Tips & Itineraries

Napoli, Sorrento and Vesuvius Area




Napoli in counterculture.

Walk the streets of art.



Napoli’s burning personality has always been a powerful source of inspiration and attraction for artists of all kinds, in the past as in modern times. Its contradictory and, sometimes, non-sense nature does make an impact, and there is no possible escape.



In 1988, the French street art pioneer Ernest Pignon-Ernest chose the tattered and torn facades of the elegant, decayed buildings of Napoli to infuse his classical designs and biblical images. Following in his footsteps, in 2013, the French artist Zilda covered the city’s walls with magnificent works inspired to Renaissance masterpieces, hand-painted on paper and pasted up in unexpected locations.




Banksy, too, left his trademark in Napoli: his magnificent “Madonna with gun” in Piazza Gerolomini cannot go unnoticed.




QS – Cyop&Kaf

Barbed Heart, Cuore Spinato. If the C becomes a Q by mistake, Quore Spinato sounds like Quartieri Spagnoli, the barbed heart of Napoli.

Built in the XVI century to house the Spanish troops guarding the city during the 1503 invasion, Quartieri Spagnoli sounds today like the rumbling bowels of Napoli, hiding incredible microcosms in their tangled maze of alleys.

Quore Spinato is a street art project by Cyop&Kaf, two Neapolitan artists (or maybe one?) who flooded with new colors one of the most colorful neighborhood of Napoli, painting their obsessions and fears on its rough walls, oozing with life and mystery.




Felice Pignataro – Awakening from sleep

Felice is the Italian word for happy. Felice is also the name of a man who brought colors and renewed happiness to Scampia, a neighborhood in the north of Napoli, known throughout Italy as a stronghold for drug dealing.

When he founded GRIDAS in 1981, together with some friends and his beloved wife Mirella La Magna, he took inspiration from Francisco Goya’s etching The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters. That’s what GRIDAS means: Group for awakening from sleep. It’s a place where people meet, talk, share ideas and draw, painting with colors the grey concrete housing complexes widely known as Le Vele (The Sails) of Scampia.

Felice died in 2004, handing on to present and future generations a message of hope and social solidarity, as well as a strong sense of community. Walking the streets of Napoli, you can see some his works, worn out by time. One of Napoli’s metro art stations is named after him – FELImetrò – showing a selection of works, installations and posters (click here for more information).

Scampia district also inspired the artists Simon Jung and Paul & Hanno Schweizer, who painted a songbird over four storeys of a building in 2009.


We suggest…



Ernest Pignon Ernest 26 mm by Julie Bonan

 Felice! A documentary (Italian only) by Matteo Antonelli and Rosaria Désirée Klain, Italia, 2006



QS, by Luca Rossomando and Riccardo Rosa (includes a map with Cyop&Kaf’s works  in Quartieri Spagnoli)




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