Discovering Rome’s Migration Story at the Museum of Urban Art and Migration

The Museum of Urban Art and Migration offers a vibrant exploration of Rome’s migration history and its diverse society. The urban-style murals are painted on the courtyard walls, each depicting segments of Rome’s migration history from the founding of the Roman Empire to the present day, with blank space reserved for future art additions. Co-Founder, Claudio Gnessi explained how each mural, while depicting the past also reflects the current multiethnicity of Torpignattara.

Each mural in the courtyard alternates between scenes of ancient Rome and Torpignattara, highlighting the interconnectedness of the two. One eye-opening fact that Claudio shared is that since its founding, Rome has always comprised of a large migrant population, sometimes larger than the native Roman identity.

            My favorite mural shows Emperor Constantine, as a child. An interesting detail is Constantine played in his villa in Torpignattara during his childhood. Instead of holding a sword, he has an infinity ring representing eternity and unity.

This tour challenges the idea that significant Roman history exclusively happened within the Roman walls or in central Rome. Instead, crucial history and monuments exist outside central Rome, in areas like Torpignattara, which are well worth visiting.  The Museum of Urban Art and Migration emphasizes the importance of migration in the past, present, and future.

Jinamai Joseph is currently interning at Universita Popolare Di Torpignattara for the summer of 2024 through Living and Learning International Southeastern University.

Read her blog here.