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Florence Street Art: A World of Whimsy and Wonder

There were many memorable things about Florence, Italy. I was never expecting to be blown away by the Florence Street Art scene, though. Instead, I expected sweeping Tuscan hillsides, antique structures with crumbling features, and one-of-a-kind art in mega museums. So strolling through the city I was caught off-guard by the playful Florence street art, especially the art of Exit/Enter. Which one I saw first I don't know, but each one of Exit/Enter’s characters made an impression on me. I started snapping every single piece that I saw, not certain what I would eventually do with the shots. By the time our visit ended I knew I wanted to do something fun with the shots; inspired by the whimsical characters, I decided to create a blog post featuring a series of shots of the fun Florence street art I found. 




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Who is Exit/Enter?

While researching for this post I found quite a bit of information about Exit/Enter, which isn’t the case for all street artists. The best article I found was on TocTocFlorence, a Florentine culture and lifestyle website. Thanks to the miracle of Google Translate, I was able to enjoy the piece and borrow a few memorable quotes from the artist to accompany the photos (see below).

Street Art in Florence | Italian Street Art | Florence Travel Photos | Street Art | Urban Adventures | Florence Italy | Florence Street Art

The thing that struck me about Exit/Enter’s art was the feelings he was able to convey with the simple, youthful characters. Sure, the art is playful and fun, but many of the pieces are asking deeper questions about life, relationships and modern times. TocTocFlorence describes the art as having a “message of lightness, evasion, and escape.”

The artist’s medium allows his emotions to “be readily visible to everyone.” He noted that creating an outdoor gallery on the historic walls of Florence “seemed the best way” to achieve his goal. His name, Exit/Enter, was inspired by his view of life: “continuous change and a succession of countless situations which, depending on your point of view, can be experienced as an exit or an entrance to new possibilities”.

Street Art in Florence | Italian Street Art | Florence Travel Photos | Street Art | Urban Adventures | Florence Italy | Florence Street Art

Whimsy and Wonder

As you can see, each piece features a “delicate” figure or “child-like” house. And the hearts, balloons, and dragons seem well-suited for romantic and historic Florence. The whimsical art is a nice juxtaposition to the somewhat intellectual city, which understandably produced some of the greatest thinkers and artists of Medieval Europe. More than anything I loved the process of finding the pieces, wandering the streets wondering what I would find next.

I’m sure some would argue that defacing the walls of Medieval Florence distracts from the star of the show: the city itself. I, for one, always enjoy seeing how cities and their street art relate to one another. It’s interesting to see the art in the setting it was intended to be seen, rather than in a gallery or museum wall. It gives a city another layer of character, especially when you let your imagination run wild thinking “who might have created this work?” What about living in that particular city in modern times motivated the artist’s statements?

Exit/Enter’s work spoke of Florentine thinkers, people who are exploring questions about existence, consumerism, and love. For some reason, these themes resonated with me, and I believe they'll likely resonate with many of my readers. Intelligent adults everywhere are muddling over these same issues and questions. Existentialism, in my opinion, is a natural part of the maturity process. We can’t grow as adults without wondering about our purpose, our relationships, and our futures. This young artist perfectly captures the uncertain yet exciting feelings of self-exploration.

Street Art in Florence | Italian Street Art | Florence Travel Photos | Street Art | Urban Adventures | Florence Italy | Florence Street Art

Do You Like Street Art, Too?

By now, you can probably tell that I love street art. It truly is one of my most favorite art mediums mostly because of its temporary status. Street art can enrich any travel experience. Consider that you're one of the lucky few who'll get to see the one-of-a-kind piece of art before you. How special! I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. If so, then be sure to check out my street art archives for more of my street art adventures.

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  • Reply
    April 15, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    I had no idea Florence had such great street art! I love how many of the pieces have been incorporated into objects around them, great way to disguise an ugly air vent.

    • Reply
      April 16, 2016 at 10:30 am

      That’s something that caught my eye, too, Chris! It was so much fun searching for these pieces. We were surprised at how prolific the artist had been and that the pieces hadn’t been painted over. Florence seems like the sort of place that values the history and ambiance of the Renaissance architecture, so it was really amazing to see that the street art hadn’t been devalued.

  • Reply
    Lara Dunning
    June 18, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    I really like street art too. I love the whimsical and child-like aspect of this art. It reminds me of a picture book. One, that I want to read over and over.

  • Reply
    June 19, 2016 at 5:24 am

    Love street art too. Love when bicycles are added in there!

  • Reply
    July 27, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Some really cute street art. I love how different the art can be depending on the area!

    • Reply
      August 17, 2016 at 10:56 pm

      I couldn’t agree more! Searching city streets for street art is probably one of my most favorite things to do EVER!

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