Why Calabria’s Diamante Murales are Worth Visiting

June, 2018

With a plethora of fabulous tourist destinations in southern Italy’s Calabria region, the famous Murales (murals) in Diamante are definitely worth visiting…

I have to let you in on a little secret, I did go slightly crazy taking loads of photos today. But the murals are not the only attraction in this pretty coastal town.

Tip: This article is now available as a mobile app on iTunes and GooglePlay. Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.

History of the murals

With over one hundred and fifty murals decorating Diamante and painted on almost every wall of every narrow laneway, you’ll have fun exploring this art.

I’ve recently heard that there are around three-hundred murals now, but not sure if this is correct?

Focusing on a different subject or theme, emerging and established artists started leaving their mark on the walls of Diamante back in 1981.

The original idea ‘Operazione murales’ came from the painter Nanni Razzetti, whom was given the go-ahead on his idea from local council. And so, the ancient stone walls became a real-life easel for around eighty-three of Razzetti’s colleagues.

Since 1981, some murals have deteriorated to just a scraping or a faded smear across walls.

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Calabrese life

Other images are maintained and still very fresh.

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Incredible doorway

New paintings appear and it’s wonderful to see that local authorities are not adverse to this type of artistic venture. Then again, how could anyone be against such creative beauty?

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
“Only the woman manages to transform fragility into strength”

Wander along and absorb yourself amongst this open-air art gallery…

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Perpetually watching…

…whilst visualising artists creating their treasure on a fresh stone canvas, across a window, down a narrow laneway, or within a tiny doorway.

In search of the Murals

As an absolute lover of street art, avidly seeking this art out regardless of the country in which I travel, I’m more than excited to wander through in search of these murals.

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Gorgeous car park

I didn’t mange to pick up a map of the murals today from the information office. Yes, there is a map. Instead, I counted on stumbling my way around.

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
“Let’s play together”

Rest assured, you can’t really get lost in Diamante as all lanes and roads lead to the sparkling Tyrrhenian Sea. Although before arriving today, I did check an online map just to get a feel for an approximate street in which to start.

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Another masterpiece

If you’re anything like me when travelling, not too organised, don’t have data on your phone or rarely take it out of your pack, and leave everything up to chance, then this is how your day may pan out…

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy

…walking in the labyrinth of cobbled lanes whilst losing yourself in search of art.

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Political Statement

There’s so much incredible talent in this town that it’s not long until amazement takes a hold.

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy

Art is absolutely everywhere…

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Panoramic art

Tile masterpiece in the making.

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Creating tile art

Even Hawaii gets a mention…

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Island influences

Striking artistic jewels grace the plainest of canvases…


Diamante the name

In case you’re wondering, Diamante means diamond’ in Italian and no, diamonds were not found in this region.

The name comes from the Diamante Citron, which is a type of lemon boasting several varieties, widely exported to other parts of Europe and the world. One type particularly looks quite warty and not very appealing at all – I’m yet to taste this fruit.

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Artistic dining

Poets such as Byron and D’Annunzio made the Diamante Citron famous and this fruit is also sought after by the Jewish community, during religious feasts.

Diamante town

Dating back to the 1500s, Diamante’s Centro Storico (historic centre) is small but a pleasure to stroll through and very clean. This area seems to hold the highest concentration of murals.

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Tile art

Imagine using this art as your playground.

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
These guys helped me find their favourite mural

Of course…

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Lion King

It’s wonderful bumping into yet another fabulous lifelike mural around every corner and so unexpected.

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
“The Dreamer”

I’m kind of glad I don’t have a map as discovering these murals on my own is a great surprise – although I know that I haven’t seen every mural in this town.

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy

The only downside is that many are not signed or the artist’s signature has worn off with time. Perhaps a map provides this pertinent information?

The town’s waterfront is not short of trinket and souvenir shops. Understandably so as after all, this is a summer tourist destination for locals.

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Southern vista

The fiery chilli is grown in this region and another reason for Diamante’s fame.

chillies, Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Traditional chilly drying

If you visit during September you can experience the Chilli Festival, which lasts several days. I imagine this is a gastronomic delight.

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Stumbled upon this groovy Sombrero laneway…

The calm Tyrrhenian Sea gently laps the shores of Diamante, which hints as if time has stood still…

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Northern vista

A live taste (in Italian) by Rai in this video of the murals and also shows you a little of the town.

Popular in many countries and here also are love locks.

Locks, Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy

Another type of art, which I discovered whilst meandering along the waterfront…

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Tyrrhenian sculpture

Diamante dining experience

Due to its popularity for locals in the summer months as of course Italians flock to the sea, Diamante’s waterfront is lined with many restaurants. All offer a similar three-course ‘Tourist Menu’ including wine, for 15€.

Ristorante Pizzeria Il Giardino

Deciding I don’t want to eat a ‘tourist menu’ and preferring to savour a Diamante dish, I ask a couple of locals for the best place to eat. If it’s one thing I’ve learnt whilst living in Italy, Italians love to share their traditional and local dishes, and are passionate about you having a great dining experience.

Finally, I take the shopkeeper’s advice and crossed the Via Libertà stone bridge to Il Giardino on Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi, 44.

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
New perspective

Advertising the tourist menu with anchovies – a local delicacy – I let the waiter know that I don’t feel like anchovies today. No problem: ‘we’ll make it seafood instead of anchovies’.

This is sounding great but short-lived with each course that arrived…

Antipasto – marinated anchovies with olives

Primi – pasta with anchovies and tomato

Secondi – fresh fried anchovies

I’m over anchovies!

I have to admit that I’ve never in my life been to a restaurant that served the same main ingredient for three consecutive courses and very disappointed that the waiter didn’t deliver on his promise. On paying, my waiter was no longer in the restaurant so I didn’t bother mentioning my disappointment to the new guy.

Informed by the Indian shopkeeper that this restaurant has been operating for around forty years, I thought I was onto a winner. Locals also dined here for lunch, but perhaps it’s my own fault taking the easy way out and selecting the Tourist Menu.

Anyway, back to the murals…which one is your favourite?

Getting there by bus

Diamante, Calabria, Italy

The Preite bus from the Cosenza Autostazione to Diamante costs 5€ one-way and takes around one and a half hours.

Make sure you tell the driver beforehand to stop at Diamante as he doesn’t go into the town, instead drives past.

You’re dropped along the highway and need to cross this to get to the town’s side, then walk down the steep hill.

When you need to return, there’s an old dilapidated bus shelter without seats on the town side, opposite to where the bus dropped you off.

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Bus view, another village

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts on Italy.

Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
Art immersion
Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy
On the other side and less traversed
Diamante Murales, Calabria, Italy

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100 responses to “Why Calabria’s Diamante Murales are Worth Visiting”

  1. Kelly Avatar

    Very interesting and thanks for sharing! These remind me a lot of some of the murals I just saw in the little town of Macomer, Sardinia!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Kelly, many thanks for your thoughts and glad you like my post.
      I’m yet to visit Sardinia…maybe after the August silly season.

  2. suburban tracks Avatar

    Bella Italia .. grazie e arrividerci ..

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Sì, è vero, l’Italia è bellissima.
      Many thanks for taking the time to comment, thought you may like the photos of the murals. 😉

  3. mammaprada Avatar

    Wow I want to go here! How incredible are these murals? Thank you for sharing a totally new place and something so unusual. It’s great to have you join us at Dolce Vita Bloggers this month!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for your great feedback!
      I really enjoyed writing this post just as much as visiting Diamante – it’s an amazing place. Hope that I can show many travellers a few new off the beaten places as Italy is not just about Venice, Rome, Pisa, Amalfi, and Cinque Terre. Although these destinations are wonderful, there’s a lot more to experience here…

  4. Questa Dolce Vita (@questadolcevita) Avatar

    Gosh, reading through the Dolce Vita Bloggers posts makes me feel like I’ve been nowhere in Italy! This town is RIGHT UP MY ALLEY. Art and Italy are my two favorite things in the whole world. Thanks for the awesome intro and the amazing photography! Love, Jasmine (questadolcevita.com). #DolceVitaBloggers

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Jasmine, many thanks for your great feedback and glad you enjoyed this post and my photographs. Diamante is a special place, which you definitely should visit if you venture to the deep south. I haven’t visited Bergamo either yet… 😉

      To be honest, I still haven’t seen much of Italy at all and have so much to see yet…I’ve been here almost 3 years!

  5. Un po' di pepe Avatar

    Beautiful post! I remember reading about this place in an art magazine quite a few years ago. it looks amazing. Ciao, Cristina
    Ps I saw a sign in a restaurant in Roma you would appreciate ‘we are against war and tourist menu’!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Many thanks for your comment Cristina and would love to read that article.
      Ha, ha brilliant sign – hope you took a photo?

      1. Un po' di pepe Avatar

        I don’t remember where I saw the article, but I did take a photo of the sign!

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thought you might have taken a photo of the sign. 😉

  6. Lucy and Kelly Avatar

    This place looks incredible!! So much talent! 🙂

    Lucy and Kelly

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      It is an incredible town to wander through and believe the Murales are being added to again this year, so will need to do a follow-up post.
      Many thanks for your thoughts.

  7. jessicadepasquale Avatar

    This is wonderful! We’re headed to Italy this summer. We’ll have to add Calabria to our itinerary.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Fantastic! I have many more posts on Italy and also Calabria for travel tips.

  8. Di Griffiths Avatar
    Di Griffiths

    Hi Nilla
    Fabulous photos! Definitely a must see when I get over to beautiful Italy. Thanks for sharing then on your blog for us all to enjoy.
    Blessings Di

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for your comment Di and hope you do visit Italy soon – would love to show you around Calabria!

  9. Francis.R. Avatar

    So much talent in those streets. The art harmonizes very well with the old and noble architecture and your photography compliments it. Thank you very much ^_^

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Francis. The art is simply stunning and graces almost every corner – a pleasure to explore this town.

  10. Powerofhappy Avatar

    This is truely inspiring! Thanks!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      It’s a very inspiring town with so much beautiful art, as you can see. 🙂

  11. da-AL Avatar

    many tx for such an illuminating post, Nilla — it’s truly heartwarming to find a place where art (& not just ancient art) is so fully valued <3

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hey da-al thanks for the feedback.
      You’re right, I love that art and artists, regardless of whether it’s street art or in a museum are treasured here in Italy. 🙂

  12. Shiva Malekopmath Avatar

    I had never seen such Art on walls.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Shiva, neither had I to this expansive extent and just loved wandering around and discovering amazing talent – it’s a pleasure visiting this town.

  13. Patty Avatar

    The mural Aged is my favorite of this compilation. But they are all beautiful!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Patty, I love that one also but it’s hard to choose a favourite as they are all stunning!

  14. inesephoto Avatar

    I guess you took pictures of every single mural in town 🙂 So would I 🙂 They are stunning.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Actually no, I’m certain I missed many, although I’m not far from Diamante so I have no excuse to visit again.

      The street art is stunning and I love that it’s become a permanent feature of the town and not removed or covered in graffiti.

      I have many more photos that I didn’t include in this post, otherwise, it would ‘death by photo’! 😉

      1. inesephoto Avatar

        There are so many talented people on this planet!

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Absolutely agree – make art not war.

      3. inesephoto Avatar


  15. LuLu B - Calabrisella Mia Avatar

    I was so happy to explore this town with my mom and her partner when they were visiting in September. The weather was a bit threatening but we managed to explore the town for a good while before the rain started. I definitely need to go back because you found some murales I didn’t stumble across! I also didn’t know there was a map, I guess it would be helpful but I do think wandering and discovering them on your own is so much more interesting and enjoyable.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Glad you had a great time and always good to show friends and family Calabria.

      You can definitely wander for hours and still not find all the murals as there are so many. I still prefer stumbling upon the murals without a map – much more fun. 😉

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you and happy that you found this post interesting.

      1. Kilimanday Tours and Safaris Avatar

        You’re welcome

  16. equinoxio21 Avatar

    I’d already seen that one, but well worth coming back. 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Indeed you have. 😉

      1. equinoxio21 Avatar


  17. adventuresdelagringa Avatar

    Wow, beautiful photos! You’ve got a great eye for photography 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Check out my Nilla’s Photography for many more photos. 🙂

  18. equinoxio21 Avatar

    A fabulous post. 🙂 Grazie mille Nilla…
    How have you been?

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Brian – it’s a fabulous town!

      All OK but I’m now marooned here as my visa expired on the 20th and I haven’t got my new card yet…I submitted my renewal application with the Questura on the 30th July.

      1. equinoxio21 Avatar

        What a shame. 30th of July? Sounds like the French Social Security. 3 months? Well, the good news it should come soon. Best of luck.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thanks but I wish that was good news – it’s not, as my first one took 5 months, which I’m now told is fast. How long is a piece of string…

      3. equinoxio21 Avatar

        What I was thinking was that in Mexico they say Wednesday is the best day of the week. Once it’s over, the week-end is only two days away. Sooo. With 3 months under your belt, it’s bound to happen sooner than 3 months ago… 😉

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ha, ha, you crack me up but I get your point, strangely enough! 😉

      5. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Glad to have made laugh. (It is a day “won” when you make a friend laugh) The wednesday thing is just another version of the half-empty, half-full glass… Where are you now then?

      6. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Yes, I got that and thanks again for the laugh.

        Still in Italy remember, I’m marooned. Have started writing about Peru, which will really confuse people as to my whereabouts. Continuing travel stories from South America in 2011 and will publish one on Sunday. 😉

      7. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Oh. I thought you had to leave the EU, while being processed. Well, that’s not too bad. 🙂 Look forward to your post. Don’t know Peru (can you believe that?) except for a stop-over in Lima on my way to Chile. Ciao, ciao.

      8. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        No, not for a renewal, quite the reverse, I can’t really leave Italy, well I can, but I may not be let back in…

        I can’t believe you haven’t been to Peru – a seasoned traveller such as yourself…spectacular country, but ripped-off there too many times – kind of takes the shine of eventually.

      9. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Don’t take the risk. 🙂 Wait for the renewal. Chi

      10. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Si, lo so…pazienza!

      11. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Darn comment sent itself. Chi va piano va sano. 🙂 Perú? Yes, haven’t been there yet. There are still many places I haven’t been. Down under is one. 🙂 One day, one day…
        Have a lovely week-end my dear.

      12. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Indeed, but snail’s pace is slower than slow here…
        Same, still too many places to explore yet.
        Well, if you’re thinking of visiting The Land of Oz, then wait until I’m back – you’re always welcome to stay.

      13. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Thank you. That’s very kind of you. 🙂

      14. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        My pleasure – love to have visitors. Hope you have a wonderful week. 🙂

      15. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Grazie. Anche tu.

  19. SeeItWithYourOwnEyes Avatar

    How amazing! I’m not surprised you went crazy taking photos!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Yes, it is an artistic feast for one’s eyes! Many thanks for taking the time to read my post and comment.

  20. The Agape Co. Avatar

    Wow they are gorgeous! Did the town commission all the artists to make them?

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      They are gorgeous and a pleasure to stroll through.

      I don’t think it was a commission as such but more of a permission. I’ve written a little about its inception in the History of the murals section in the post. Many thanks for leaving your comment.

  21. the eternal traveller Avatar

    I’d say you could easily spend a few days here just wandering and enjoying these beautiful works of art. The scenery is not bad either! What a wonderful place to visit.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Agree and so relaxed, when it’s not summer – I refuse to go anywhere in Italy during August.
      I do need to return soon.

  22. withlovetimo Avatar

    wow! I didn’t know that in Italy you can see so many amazing murals 😮 I’m a huge street art lover so thanks a lot for a travel inspiration. Love it!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      It’s amazing the art you bump into in Italy – it’s everywhere. Happy that I can show you Diamante’s beautiful art space.

      1. withlovetimo Avatar

        Honestly, I’m very surprised. Now I know that planning my next trip to Italy I have to check local street artists!

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Cool I’ve introduced you to Italy’s amazing street art.

      3. withlovetimo Avatar

        Perfect! I can’t wait. I’m sure I’ll be back in Italy soon 🙂

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        There is so much to see in Italy apart from the milk-run tourist list. 😉

      5. withlovetimo Avatar

        Great! I‘m not a huge fan of overcrowded places 🙂

      6. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Me neither – it’s getting harder and harder to find untouched places around the globe…

      7. withlovetimo Avatar

        Unfortunatelly you’re right 🙁 but! You can always walk around the city without any plan. The best way to discover something new 😉

      8. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Very true and always love discover what’s around an unknown corner…

  23. Rachel Dubber (@racheldubber) Avatar

    I wish they had been there when I visited many years ago. Beautiful Nilla, thanks for sharing.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for the kind feedback. You visited before 1981? Must of been a different town then…

  24. karenincalabria Avatar

    An interesting place, indeed! Your photos capture the murals beautifully.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Yes, very Karen and I hope to return – I’m not far away really. Many thanks for the kind feedback.

  25. rachaelstray Avatar

    Wow these murals are amazing and so eclectic too!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      They certainly are Rachael…many thanks for commenting.

  26. Rachna Avatar

    Oh wow! These murals are amazing. Would love to go this place someday.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      They are indeed Rachna and hope you get there some day. Calabria is not on the tourist milk-run, so still many untouched places to explore.

  27. thatblogwherecheriemovestogermany Avatar

    I keep adding places to my Must Visit, Must See list. This looks stunning.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      It’s quite a relaxed place to wander around and absorb all the wonderful art. Not sure what Diamante would be like in the summer, so time your visit outside summer months.

  28. suzie81speaks Avatar

    What an absolutely beautiful post! I love street art and this would be an amazing place to visit!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Suzie!
      Diamante speaks for itself – it’s not hard to take great photos of this amazing art.

  29. Debbie Harris Avatar

    These are amazing murals Nilla! I love the quote in the one about women being fragile and strong and the one with the mother and baby in the boat is gorgeous! I always like finding street art when travelling. Your photos are fabulous.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Debbie. They’re all quite amazing and so much talent around. Unlike in Australia, all artists in Italy are revered, it’s quite humbling.

  30. a mindful traveler Avatar

    Oh wow, this is absolutely amazing Nilla. I had no idea about this in Cosenza. If we are ever in the area again we will definitely have to stop and check this out. Thanks for sharing it 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      It is amazing and hope to re-visit so I can check all the murals out. 🙂

  31. thewonderer86 Avatar


    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you – it’s a fantastic open-air art gallery!

  32. Kerry LifeandLoves Avatar

    Wow! These are absolutely beautiful. I don’t blame you for seeking them out. I am a lover of street art too, so these would be high on my list to visit. Love the photos.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for the feedback Kerry. I’ll have to return as I doubt I’ve seen all of the murals.

  33. Valerie Cullers Avatar

    Absolutely gorgeous!!!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Valerie! It’s wonderful to immerse yourself in this amazing art and a bonus that it’s all for free…

  34. onemillionphotographs Avatar

    Gorgeous photos! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you and glad you liked the photos.

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