In Florence in May 2007, Juliet introduced me to this unique hostel near the heart of the city. I have quite a few pictures of the inside, but one of its most interesting features was the decoration on the walls in the stairwell and upstairs hallways. These had been painted white, and then, over time, covered with graffiti by the hostel's guests. I'm not sure if they originally intended for this to happen (and encouraged it), or if it was an accidental development that was wholeheartedly embraced by the owners and staff of the hostel. Whatever the case, the 'writing on the walls' (as it were) reflects a diverse array of international affiliations, of which I've shown examples in pictures below; and some of the graffiti was, needless to say, pretty creative.
In spite of the evident diversity, I was still pretty surprised to see my own home town showing up so specifically, above a door frame...
...complete with Friesian cow--delightful. Next is an obvious shout-out to a certain demographic of Canucks, in the form of a reference to a song by The Weakerthans, a Canadian indie-rock-punk band from (you guessed it) Winnipeg:
Classic. However, it wasn't half as good as what's in the next picture, a 'collaboration' between two different travelers--one called Colin, the other whose name is not quite legible--both of whom have strong feelings about Scotland (zoom in for a better look):
And thus, "passion" is replaced by "deep-fried pizza". Note the slight mis-quote of the lyric to "Beautiful Boy" by John Lennon, just above and to the right.
Lastly, one of the reasons I so enjoy these kinds of public art projects is that I can actually contribute something, without guilt. The drawing below is what I left on the wall outside our dorm room before we left. Note my incorporation into the drawing of what is apparently the Spanish word for "monstrosity".