Balbido: The Painted Village

December 2, 2014 / Local Interest
Balbido, Trentino Alto Adige
Balbido: The Painted Village | ©Tom Palladio ImagesHigh up in the Bleggio Plateau of the Trentino Alto Adige region sits an animated village deserving of an art critic’s eye: Balbido.

Known as paese dipinto (painted village), more than 200 original, hand-painted murals adorn the homes of this traditional little alpine village of northern Italy.

Balbido: The Painted Village | ©Tom Palladio ImagesBoasting numerous features of its long-standing farming heritage, Balbido’s landscape is dotted by grandiose houses with their attached, vaulted stables and barns topped by wooden attics to store hay and firewood for the long, harsh winter. Not too unusual for this corner of the Brenta Dolomites except most of the walls of these dwellings are suitable for framing.

Balbido: The Painted Village | ©Tom Palladio ImagesExtremely proud of their past, the villagers, in the 1980s, wholeheartedly agreed to permit members of the Gruppo Itinerante Murales Naïf (Itinerant Group of Naïf Muralists) to create an array of artwork on the exterior walls of their homes that would depict Balbido’s rich heritage, traditions and values, and express village life at its core: hard work, honest living, dreams, feelings and passion.

Balbido: The Painted Village | ©Tom Palladio ImagesCombining the Naïf Art style with graffiti-based techniques, the artists set to work, each individually assigned a different residence to serve as their canvas. When the paint dried, this little village out of nowhere suddenly became an open-air art museum that immediately began attracting the curious.

Balbido: The Painted Village | ©Tom Palladio Images

Balbido: The Painted Village | ©Tom Palladio Images
Balbido: The Painted Village | ©Tom Palladio Images
Balbido: The Painted Village | ©Tom Palladio ImagesNo worse for wear, many of the “urban art” pieces remain pristine, as if they were unveiled to the public, and the homeowner, just yesterday.

Along with the Naïf Art murals, Balbido — home to some of the friendliest people you’ll ever encounter — is a picturesque little gem of a photo-shoot locale. Around every corner, it seems, something interesting to frame just pops out and says, Salve! (Hello!)

Balbido: The Painted Village | ©Tom Palladio Images

Balbido: The Painted Village | ©Tom Palladio Images
Balbido: The Painted Village | ©Tom Palladio Images
Balbido: The Painted Village | ©Tom Palladio Images

There’s no entry fee to enter this one-of-a-kind, out-in-the-open art gallery, but do look both ways when crossing the street inside the painted village of Balbido.

Balbido: The Painted Village | ©Tom Palladio Images

by Tom Weber

Tom is a veteran print-broadcast journalist who resides in the Colli Euganei (Euganean Hills) in the province of Padova in the Veneto region of northestern Italy. He hosts the eclectic travel/foodie/photography blog The Palladian Traveler.com, is a regular contributor to Los Angeles-based TravelingBoy.com, and is a member of the International Travel Writers Alliance. Feel free to follow Tom as he “meanders along the cobblestone to somewhere.”

13 Responses to “Balbido: The Painted Village”

  1. I have been to this town twice and found it fascinating both times. The second time around you see what you missed the first time. And I would go back again!

    Reply
  2. Gian Banchero

    I’d really like to have a print of the dinner scene in the log room. I’m to check today to see if there’s a site for the town on the Internet. Thank you very much Tom for bringing this village to our attention.

    Reply
  3. Patricia Welch

    There is another similar painted village in Emilia-Romagna, called Dozza. Check it out.

    Reply
  4. What a little gem. I’ve been trying to find out how to get there with public transport, from Venice. Are there buses from Trento? Thank you.

    Reply
  5. I just used that wonderful site rome2rio, and found the answer to my own question! There’s a bus (over 2 hours each way), or taxi, just over half an hour.

    Reply
  6. Tony Cogan

    Fascinating! Will put this town on the list for our next trip to la bella italia!

    Reply
  7. John Del Monte

    Loved the work and the styles of executing these works. I do have my preferences. But certainly adds to the interest of the town. Naturally I would make some changes to enhance the works and the placements on the buildings.

    Reply

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