In 1968, the hillside town of Gibellina was devastated by a 6.1-scale earthquake. Somewhat like the residents of Noto, who befell a similar fate, the town decided to abandon the ruins and start from scratch in a location which was close by, and hopefully more stable. Between 1985 and 1989, an Italian artist named Alberto Burri used the old city’s ruins as the canvas for his most audacious work of modern sculpture. The resulting concrete cemetery is a bold piece of art, a comment on death, and a moving tribute to the devastated city.
Fans of ancient painting, sculpture and architecture have no shortage of opportunities to indulge their passion in Palermo, a city whose artistic tradition stretches back centuries. But for those looking for something a bit more modern, we recommend heading out to the Centro d’Arte Piana dei Colli, in a marvelous villa just north of the city.
Some artists work with clay, others with watercolors. Many use spray paint cans and empty urban landscapes, while others busy themselves with pastels. And, as we’ve now learned, there are some artists whose medium consists of discarded junk found on street corners. Maurizio Ruggiano belongs to the latter group, and we had the chance to visit him in his tastefully cluttered apartment in La Kalsa.