Contemporary Art Illuminates Turin This Winter

Piazza Palazzo di Città. Artist: Daniel Buren. Title: Tappeto Volante.

Contemporary Art Illuminates Turin This Winter


Via Lagrange. Artist: Enrica Borghi. Title: Mosaico

It is the holiday season and the swirling Baroque avenues of Turin (Torino) are bathed in the glow of neon light. Moonlight plays understudy to electrifying hues of blue, green, yellow, magenta and red that radiate from every piazza and portico. Look above into the dark abyss and find a glorious play of light embodied by otherworldly shapes and fixtures, twisted, molded and finessed into industrial visions. Turin’s contemporary art answer to Mother Nature’s constellations.

From multi-colored rainbows of suspended light brite-esque panels to perfectly linear rows of red, blue and yellow light boxes invisibly floating in air, Turin’s Luci d’Artista showcase of outdoor art installations is one magnificent holiday gift to its citizens and art loving visitors alike. First launched in 1997, the city’s initiative to bring contemporary art to its public spaces has fostered a unique discussion about how individuals appreciate and interact with art when they too become part of the experience. First conceptualized as a contemporary museum en plein air that would feature one-of-a-kind works from global artists, the initiative has successfully carried out its mission for 14 consecutive years and remains dedicated to the original impetus – the creative use of light.


Galleria Subalpina, Artist: Marco Gastini, Title: L'energia che unisce si espande nel blu

A joint endeavor between the Region of Piemonte, the Province of Turin and the City of Turin, Luci d’Artista has helped to further promote the city as the preeminent capital for cutting-edge contemporary art in Europe. A comprehensive collection, the event currently features 19 electric compositions and continues to grow every year through the invitation of one or two internationally recognized artists that each contribute one new piece. Varying in style, theme and material, the installations are unified in their goal of reinterpreting the enigmatic and alluring nature of light.

The 2011 season launched on November 27th, 2011 with a colossal piece by Emanuele Luzzati enititled “La Strada dei Magi”, an ode to the traditional Christmas nativity scene. Located in the Piazza Castello, the installation features 90 individual wood cut-outs that are brightly painted and ensconced in light. The 14th edition of Luci d’Artista will be on display in Turin until January 15th, 2012. A feast for the eyes and caffeine for the imagination, any holiday exploration of Turin would not be complete without a languid stroll through this already beautiful city made only more exquisite by neon jewels of light encrusting every balustrade and column.

About the author

Dejou Marano is Co-Founder of CountryBred and Founding Editor of The Bred Blog. Splitting her time between Los Angeles and Europe, Dejou seeks to bring the imagination and wonder of Europe to all travelers through her never-ending pursuit of undiscovered cultural gems and experiences, which she shares through her travel writing.


  1. CountryBred, I can’t wait to visit Turin in wintertime! Your description of the city during the holiday season would be a magical experience.

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