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Sgraffiti a Casoli

Sgraffiti a Casoli è un evento artistico nato a Casoli nel 2006 che ogni anno si rinnova durante un fine settimana con la partecipazione di artisti diversi. Ne è promotore il Comitato Paesano di Casoli con la collaborazione del Comune di Camaiore. In estemporanea vengono realizzati graffiti sulle mura del piccolo borgo in omaggio all’artista Murabito che qui ha vissuto e operato. A lui si deve il primo graffito sulla piazza del paese (foto a destra). Questa iniziativa desta l’interesse e la volontà di partecipazione di molti e dipinge con stile e poesia questo delizioso paesino che già di per sé è un gioiello della natura. Le prime edizioni di questo evento hanno visto partecipare sia le scuole ad indirizzo artistico che i professionisti. Adesso invece l’invito è aperto solo ad artisti professionisti.
Questa decisione è nata dall’esigenza di elevare il livello qualitativo (purtroppo carente nelle scuole d’arte pubbliche) delle opere per meglio promuovere Casoli in ambito artistico, culturale e turistico, rendendolo così un paesino unico nel suo genere.
Ecco come qui ha avuto inizio e prosegue la mia attiva partecipazione: nel 2007 durante la II edizione dell’evento chiamato “Un graffito per gli amici” ho realizzato gratuitamente due graffiti come dono a Casoli, paese a me caro.
Nel 2008 il comitato paesano, che gestisce l’evento, mi ha commissionato il graffito al lavatoio dietro compenso. Dopo di che nel 2009, c’è stata la commissione del S.Rocco sulla facciata della
chiesa, con il contributo della Banca “BCC”, poi il Comitato mi ha affidato il compito di curatore artistico nella gestione dell’evento. Ogni anno sono invitati tre artisti e ad ognuno viene dato un compenso. I requisiti richiesti sono: aver realizzato almeno un graffito a “fresco” su parete. Dal 2011 durante i giorni precedenti all’evento, viene effettuato uno stage per insegnare la tecnica dello sgraffito a fresco.

Franco Pagliarulo ( curatore artistico )


Dalla X edizione la scelta degli artisti  tramite invito.


Gli artisti interessati a partecipare devono avere questi requisiti:

Conoscere e praticare la tecnica tradizionale dello sgraffito. Aver già realizzato almeno un graffito su parete. Sono ammesse varianti personali alla tecnica tradizionale purché l’opera sia realizzata “a fresco”. Chi ha tali requisiti può proporsi scrivendo a questo indirizzo mail:

Galleria di edizioni passate: IIIIIIV V VIVIIVIIIIX – X – XIXII


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‘Graffiti at Casoli’ is an event which, launched in 2006, takes place annually during the last weekend of May when ‘graffiti’ are chiselled out using  traditional techniques on suitable walls at various points within the village, all done in homage to the artist Rosario Murabito who lived and worked at Casoli. It was he who carried out the first ‘graffito’ which can be seen in the main square. The event, which has captivated many and evokes a desire to take part, perfectly reflects with style and poetry this charming village which is itself a joy of nature.


In the early years of the event, art schools as well as professional artists took part. Now, instead, participation is restricted to paid professional artists who are selected by means of an annual announcement of the competition. This change came out of the need to raise the qualitative level of the work, the better to promote Casoli as both an artistic and tourist destination, making it unique of its type.


With this new prospectus the Village Committee, since 2009, has invested Franco Pagliarulo with the task of artistic curator. ‘Graffiti at Casoli’ is organised by the Village Committee in partnership with the Municipality of Camaiore.

The main aims are:

to promote cultural tourism in the area,

to promote and recover the art of traditional ‘graffito’.


During the weekend of the event a workshop will be held for anyone interested in learning the technique.

What is ‘Graffito’?


Traditional “graffito” is an ancient artistic technique, most commonly employed in the decoration of mansions and palaces.


During the Renaissance, Italian artists re-discovered Greek-Roman know-how, and halfway through the sixteenth century the technique was described by Giorgio Vasari in his  “Introduction to the Art of Drawing”:

“they take lime mixed with sand, ordinarily, and with singed straw they stain it a dark colour …and with this they plaster the facade. Having done this, it is brushed over with a wash made with ground white travertine, they white-wash over everything: after whitening they sprinkle finely-ground charcoal on their cartoons……; and then, scratching with a tool, they outline and sketch in the drawing….  being black underneath and white on top, it  shows all the markings made by the tool, and like the marks of the drawing… which from a distance makes a beautiful appearance…and this is the work that being scratched by a tool, the artists called “sgraffito”(scratched). Of this type grotesques, ornaments and decoration… being water resistant…are made in the same way as frescoes…..” The facade of the palace dei Cavalieri (the Knights of St. Stephen) in Pisa was executed by Vasari in 1562.


From the mid’ nineteenth century through to the first half of the twentieth, the technique was revived and updated in keeping with new aesthetic movements such as Art Nouveau and Liberty. Later on, other variants were added such as the application of “graffito” to dry plaster.


Following the classical method, “graffito” is made on wet plaster, a technique very similar to fresco. The work is carried out in the following steps:

  1. on a layer of rough plastering, a smoother coat of plaster is applied, being a mix of sand and slaked lime mixed with earth pigments in powder form(usually black or red, but other colours are acceptable);
  2. two or three coats of lime-wash are give;
  3. transfer of the design to the surface: a sheet of paper on which the outline of the full-size design has been pricked out, somewhat like a dot-to-dot puzzle, is affixed temporarily to the working surface and finely-ground charcoal is dusted over it leaving an impression of the outline on the moist plaster;
  4. as soon as the plaster begins to dry, using variously shaped tools, the design is scratched out on the surface leaving the underlying darker colour exposed.


As is the case with fresco work, the four steps have to be completed in one day. For larger areas, the work is divided into ‘days’, plastering one portion at a time.