Pinocchio in Vernante, Italy

The Art of Attilio Mussino remembered through murals of Pinocchio

An integral part of all children’s stories is the artwork that goes with the words. And here is where I take you to a little known corner of Italy—Vernante, the last home of the definitive illustrator of Pinocchio, Attilio Mussino. Vernante is between the sea and the Maritime Alps in the Piemonte region.

Like Collodi in Tuscany, the city of Pinocchio, Vernante has become “il paese dello zio di Pinocchio,” the town of the Uncle of Pinocchio. Here, in 1989, two townspeople started to paint murals based on Mussino’s work, transforming the walls of houses into treasures of the imagination, an outdoor memorial to the work of the master Mussino.

Pinocchio mural in vernante italy
Casa Carlet in Vernante, Italy

There are in fact more than 150 murals in honor of Attilio Mussino’s works created by Bruno Carletto and Bartolomeo Cavallera. The project was the brainchild of Carlet, who, during a trip to Germany, visited a village where the houses were frescoed with murals. The first mural was created in April of 1989, reproducing faithfully original drawings by Attilio Mussino, the most important illustrator of Collodi’s “The Adventures of Pinocchio.” Mussino lived the last years of his life in Vernante, where he is buried. The materials were made available to the Pro Loco and the two artists began working, again free of charge.

Stroll the streets to absorb the story of Pinocchio; there are murals all over. Vernante is a charming little town in any case, set in a narrow valley surrounded by the Alpi Marittime, the Maritime Alps.

Tip: Before you leave Vernante, stop in for a sip of tea (or something stronger) at the Pub “Il Cavallino” in the piazza de 1’ala 20. You won’t believe your eyes. Il Cavallino is an authentic Irish Pub. The owner has a passion for all things Celtic, including music. He speaks English and is glad to be able to practice on you—and he’s a wealth of information on the history and festivals of the region. We attended a spectacular mountain music festival on his advice. Since we’ve visited, they’ve added pizza to the menu. So, it’s Pizzeria Ristorante Il Cavallino and you can still get great beer there. It’s near the Vernante train station on the very scenic rail line between Cuneo and the coast.

From Vernante, you can visit the Maritime Alps Park, or head on down the coast to Liguria. Another town I enjoy in Piemonte is Cuneo to the North.

Where to stay in Vernante

There are two hotels in little Vernante, the Albergo Martinet and the Hotel Il Nazionale di Vernante.

Vernante is an easy day trip from Cuneo. The distance is around ten miles and you can even take the cheap, regional train between them for a couple of euro.

Cuneo Lodging

More on the Piemonte Region of Italy

The Egyptian Museum of Turin | Museo Egizio

Torino Pictures

Sanctuary of Vicoforte

Palazzina di Stupinigi Visitor Guide | Piemonte

Liquori Bernard: The Alps in a Bottle

Barolo Chapel and Other Delights

Time Out of Time in Turin's Historic Cafes

Torino: Parco del Valentino

Pinocchio in Vernante, Italy originally appeared on , updated: Dec 10, 2023 © .

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