I Madonnari – Italian Street Painting in Santa Barbara

Let's Go to Italy Together!

This Memorial Day weekend an Italian tradition, I Madonnari, has been celebrated with a festival in front of the beautiful “queen of the missions” in Santa Barbara.

Read about this tradition, how it was revived and, if you can’t be here this year, enjoy some photos of this fun and festive event…

Photo Victoria De Maio

“Queen of the Missions”, Santa Barbara, California

For four days, the Mission plaza is transformed and a centuries old tradition is  perpetuated…

Let's Go to Italy Together!Squares of various sizes are sponsored by local businesses and individuals and, over the course of the long weekend, 150 talented artists of all ages dedicate themselves to transforming their art into large scale images using pastels on pavement.

Let's Go to Italy Together!

Over the course of the days, we can enjoy watching them bring their designs to life, literally before our very eyes.

Let's Go to Italy Together!Read about how I Madonnari, the tradition of Italian street painting, was almost lost and how, 30 years ago, the first revival in the Western Hemisphere came about.

Let's Go to Italy Together!Of course, if it’s an Italian festival, there must be food, right? Of course! And this year, I volunteered to help out at the Santa Barbara chapter of UNICO booth. Started in 1922, UNICO is the largest Italian service organization in the U.S.

UNICO in Italian means “one” or “only” but it also stands for Unity Neighborliness Integrity Charity and Opportunity.

We had so much fun serving up delicious Italian sausage sandwiches and enjoyed meeting people from all over the world. And, all for a good cause, the Children’s Creative Project (a non-profit arts education program that serves 50,000 children in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties).

Let's Go to Italy Together!

For more photos about this event and what I’m up to, please visit my Facebook page!


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About PostcardZ from Victoria

Wish you were here! I love sharing my passion for travel and insights I've learned along the way. Enjoy my travel tips and inspiration with a lighthearted twist! Join me as we create a forum for sharing experiences and information! Enjoy my newly updated & edited book, "Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style!" with MORE great TipZ and then, let's go to Italy together!
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4 Responses to I Madonnari – Italian Street Painting in Santa Barbara

  1. Ginny says:

    Victoria, what a great way to be off the roads on a Holliday weekend. It looks like so much fun……I love watching art being created 💞

  2. rozpaige says:

    My daughter painted a street painting when she was in art school in our home town. You are so fortunate to have such a strong Italian tradition where you live! I would love to see this tradition in Italy too!

    • Ciao, Roz!
      It is a wonderful tradition and very festive. I have seen a few street artists in Italy but not in a festival setting–usually just someone doing it a traditional madonna and trying to earn a little money. If you go to the original blog page, there are a few photos of the original.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Appreciated!

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