The rebirth of a remote village thanks to the colors of universal fairy tales

One day the fairytale character Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll appeared on the huge facade of a building in the heart of a little hamlet of central Italy. After a few days, then months and up to a couple of years, many other fairy tale characters appeared on big murals spread all around the small village: the Little Match Girl, Little Red Riding Hood, Pinocchio, The Avalon’s Fairies, Peter Pan, Ali Babà and the 40 Thieves, Don Quixote of La Mancha, Hansel and Gretel, The Cat with the Boots, The Sword in the Stone, The Little Prince, The Ugly Duckling, Sleeping Beauty, and so on.

But who brought all these famous fairy tale characters to this tiny village? And above all, what is the name of this lost village near Rome, where fairy tale characters seem to have found their fairy world? Well, does Sant’Angelo di Roccalvecce in the province of Viterbo mean anything to you? Of course not, because nobody calls it by its original name anymore and for everybody it is now The Fairy Tale Village.

This is the magical story of a semi-abandoned village that didn’t want to die. Little more than a hundred inhabitants, mostly elderly, were resisting with all their strength to keep it alive but so isolated and forgotten by the rest of the world it seemed definitely doomed to disappear.

But here comes the magic! A wonderful idea came to visit a group of local people and like a fairy with her magic wand enlightened their minds with a fabulous project: to turn the dying Sant’Angelo di Roccalvecce into an enchanting Wonderland. A very ambitious project carried on by the ACAS cultural association, chaired by Gianluca Chiovelli with the support of many local people and talented street artists. The central core of this artistic project focuses on the idea to revive the small hamlet through the characters of fairy tales well known all around the world and carriers of universal messages.

Instead of building new construction or monuments to embellish the village, the idea of painting walls and houses to recover and enhance what already exists has proven successful! Sant’Angelo di Roccalvecce, or rather the Fairy Tale Village, is starting to also become an open-air museum of popular art where besides the attraction of murals there are also installations, sculptures, bas-reliefs and mosaics, always devoted to fairy tales, fantastic myths and legends. 

Though, the real magic of this amazing project is given by the wonderful connection between the generous inhabitants and the artists. In fact, the murals have been largely financed by local people while many artists donated their work.

If you come here, don’t be surprised to encounter by chance a sweet elderly lady who makes delicious biscuits to offer to strangers walking down the street. It’s her way to welcome visitors and promote her little village. It is a touching and moving gesture and so much in line with the spirit of Human Connections. Isn’t it?

Sant’Angelo di Roccalvecce is, therefore, a real Wonderland where goodness and fantasy came together to create a magical place ready to welcome visitors from all around the world. Like in a dream, this semi-abandoned village has gloriously risen thanks to a wonderful idea made true by the power of Human Connections.

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