“A place that makes you happy” is the tagline of the Farm Cultural Park, an urban rejuvenation project in a tiny town in Sicily called Favara, It is a far cry from the area’s former reputation, which just a couple of years ago was better known for desolation and urban blight.
The project started out as a single art gallery started a few years ago by a notary named Andrea Bartoli and has since evolved into an entire district, a tiny Southbank Centre in the middle of a nearly abandoned town. The Farm includes a big art gallery, two bars, a gift shop, a take away food stall, vintage clothes shop, and a secret garden, as well as a number of smaller galleries featuring photography projects and video installations. Bartoli’s permanent art hub quickly turned Favara from a swiftly dying town into one of the hippest locations in modern Italy, teeming with youth, ambition, and for the first time in a long time, life.
As with any place that celebrates youth and progress, Friday or Saturday nights are the nights when the Farm is at its liveliest, and visitors can take in some live music, a DJ set, or film screening as well as all the art usually on display.
Know Before You Go
Like anywhere in Sicily, Farm Cultural Park is difficult to get to unless you have a car. Situated in the historical centre of Favara, it's a 5 minute walk from the town square, with parking spots most readily available in front of the town's cathedral. While the centre is tucked away in a tiny side street, locals are very friendly and will happily point you in the right direction. Failing all else head to the tourism office on the town square and one of the ladies there will personally accompany you there.