Balbido, the painted village. The best way to savour the magical artistic atmosphere of Balbido is to wander slowly through the narrow streets, admiring the murals which decorate the walls of the houses.
There are stunning works of art whichever way you turn. You will soon realise that you are in an open-air museum, where every house is different canvas.
The murals of Balbido
Why is Balbido full of murals? It all began in the summer of 1987, when six painters were invited to paint the first murals by a local cultural association. There are now 48 murals in this little hamlet.
A riot of colours.
You can see the first paintings when you enter the village. They are everywhere, on the walls of houses, drawing you onwards. At every turn you discover new stories, characters and legends which give way to memories. Walking through Balbido is like opening a picture book. An album of simple, delicate drawings. Telling the story of long forgotten crafts. The umbrella maker, patiently repairing the frame, canvas and springs of umbrellas.
The chimney sweep, dreaming of his girlfriend dressed in white. The chair maker, patching up chairs with straw. They also depict ancient customs, sacred rituals, emigration, or the white horses which until recently were used in the end-of-summer Palio di Santa Giustina festival. Last but not least, there are the devious and mischievous witches.
They would throw stones at the wheels of carts returning from the nearby valley, laden with wood, or they would trigger violent hailstorms, lashing the surrounding countryside. A giant work of art made from wood and bamboo canes is dedicated to them. It depicts a witch with her cauldron. Located the entrance to the village, at 10.77 m tall it entered the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s biggest witch. More than 30 wooden sculptures add to the village’s charm, tucked away in quiet corners. They are the work of sculptors from all around the world who visit every summer for a symposium that has been held since 1989. In Balbido, art has found its home