When you think of Italy, you have a few options for what pops into your mind. It might be ancient Roman architecture. Maybe it’s Italian food or coffee. Possibly the canals of Venice or the busy streets of Rome. But one of the best things about Italy today is its thriving and quality tattoo culture. Some of the top tattoo artists in Europe can be found in Italy, and here are our ten best Italian tattoo artists.
For real, Nemo isn’t just one of the best tattoo artists in Italy, but one of my personal top tattoo artists in the entire world. His art, as you can see for yourself, is a clever mix of anime and geek culture inspiration with a completely and irresistibly delightful original art style. There is no other tattoo artist in Italy, or anywhere in the world, quite like Nemo.
Nemo has this incredible unique style of minimalist art that always uses the same colour palette, thick black lines, and soft shapes to take inspiration from anime, video games, and pop culture and transforming it into something totally original and recognisably his own. You know it’s Nemo’s art from a passing glance, so unique and beautiful is it. Seriously, there’s nobody in the world like Nemo. He’s wonderful. We even featured Nemo in our list of geeky tattoo artists from around the world.
Carolina Caos Avalle
In all my years of being tattooed around the world, meeting artists, and enjoying the tattoo industry, I’ve never come across a style quite like that of Carolina Caos Avalle. Her tattoos express a style reminiscent of what I can only call magazine art. Torn pages, bold fonts, blended art styles, and mashed together into clever and strange collages.
Imagine a magazine filled with different fonts and headlines, as well as photos and drawings from different artists, both in colour and black-and-white. Then imagine cutting all of this out and creating an original collage from it. This is what Avalle achieves, while also creating those uniquely disparate art styles all within one tattoo. We’re talking a level of artistry rarely seen in the world of tattooing! Avalle has several defined and perfected styles that she is able to blend together into one single tattoo. I have truly never seen anything quite like it.
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One of the most popular tattoo styles right now is neotrad: the art of taking traditional American and Japanese tattoo styles and recreating them in a modern style, with more refined and mature artistry. Matteo Paglione is an Italian tattoo artist who manages to toe that line between traditional and neotrad. His art isn’t as far removed from traditional as that of some neotrad artists, but it’s also not completely old-school. It hits that perfect sweet spot.
There’s a delicious warmth to the colours and shapes of Matteo’s tattoos. They’re earthy and natural, with real depth and density. While he does dabble in black-and-grey tattoos, it’s his popping colours that really elevate him above the rest of the neotrad tattoo crowd.
The other style of tattooing that has exploded in popularity in recent years is that of cute, collurful, kawaii, geek culture inspired tattoo art. And I, for one, am thrilled about that. Tattoo art is long past the point of being tough and masculine. It’s pop; it’s cute; it’s sweet and adorable. Tattoo art is expression of our passions, hobbies, interests, obsessions. And If there’s one tattoo artist in Italy who gets that, it’s Felice Bucca.
Felice delivers on some of the best geek culture tattoos around. From comic book characters to cartoon art; from fairy tales and Disney animation to colour adaptations of traditional Japanese art, Felice Bucca can do it all. Scroll through his Instagram page and you’ll even spy a tattoo inspired by the comic book art of Skottie Young. Utterly beautiful stuff.
Marco Frever Parodi
Here’s another Italian tattoo artist who delicately toes that line between neotrad and old school tattooing. There’s so much fun and vibrancy to be seen and enjoyed in Marco Frever Parodi’s tattoos. They’re joyous and colourful and sweet.
You’ll recognise so much of old school tattoo art’s designs in his tattoos (swallows, ships, daggers, gypsy heads etc) but they’re all been so refined and tinkered to build something new with some loving attention to detail or a neotrad approach to the art. Like, for example, framing a landscape imagine in a ship’s wheel or a gypsy head. This nod to surrealism adds a whole new depth of originality to Marco’s tattoos and allows them to really stand out in the crowded worlds of neotrad tattoos and tattoo artists in Italy.
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Not everyone appreciates gothic, bleak tattoo art that’s soaked in thick blackness. But those of us who do (myself included) absolutely adore it. And Francesco Bianco is one of the top tattoo artists in the world for delivering this exact kind of eerie black tattoo art.
Beyond just the intense black-and-white style of tattooing, it’s also Bianco’s very subject matter that’s so deliciously bleak and gothic. Crows, skulls, dragon heads, and realistic faces with sombre, brooding expressions. The artistry here is so intensely beautiful that you’ll want to swim in it. Combine that with this Italian tattoo artist’s choice of subjects and imagery, and you have some of the most engrossing and beautiful tattoos in all of Italy.
Ornamental tattoos inspired by mandalas and geometric patterns have increased massively in popularity recently, and Andrea Scollo – one of the best tattoo artists in Italy – is at the forefront of this new revolution. His tattoos use minimalist thick black lines and some clever grey shading to deliver mesmerising patters of geometric shapes that blend so well with the contours of the human body.
These tattoos are undeniably mesmerising. There’s no colour; they’re not depicting anything recognisable. They’re more like a combination of the clever mathematic art of M.C. Escher with the traditional Indian mandola, and they are absolutely incredible. If you’re looking for a unique tattoo from one of the top tattoo artists in Italy, look no further than Andrea Scollo.
Simona is another favourite tattoo artist of mine, which lays pretty clear my adoration for bright colours, kawaii tattoos, and anime inspiration. What makes Simona such a unique and brilliant Italian tattoo artist, however, is her cleverness with injecting surrealism and some real creepy darkness into her tattoos.
While most of Simona’s tattoos are either directly inspired by elements of nerd culture, such as Pokemon, many of them also take on a darker, and even bloodier tone. They’re still cute and kawaii tattoos, for sure, but with a dark and edgy tone that really adds some uniqueness, and even a little dark humour to her tattoos. This isn’t true for all of them, of course, but this range of style really helps her stand out as one of the top tattoo artists in Italy, and amongst the crowd of kawaii tattoo artists out there.
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Fabio Deli is one of the most criminally underrated tattoo artists in Italy, if judged by his Instagram alone. This Italian tattoo artist excels at blending a range of disparate tattoo styles into one cohesive theme. Some of his tattoos are picture-perfect recreations of cartoon and anime designs, while others are simply incredible portraits done in a uniquely expressive and vibrant style.
Deli’s more lifelike tattoos are certainly not realistic, but instead they’re beautifully, wonderfully expressive. There’s so much feeling in the expressions he illustrates, and the way they’re decorated and made to pop with splashes of deep colour is addictive and mesmerising. These are incredible neotrad designs unlike anything else you’ll see, with depth and dimension that really brings them to life in an incredible way.
Now, here is a tattoo artist in Italy with a completely recognisable style of art that is all their own. Yle Vinil delivers remarkable tattoos that all share the same blocky theme that makes them so uniquely hers. They’re old school inspired tattoos that use minimalist colours, muted tones, and simple linework which all combines to build something wholly special.
Much of her art, in its colour and composition, is reminiscent of the cubist art of Pablo Picasso. Blocky shapes combining to make something this is sometimes surreal but still recognisably human or animal, or something completely ordinary but still built from that cubist inspiration. Beautiful.
Will predominantly writes about the books of Books and Bao, examining the literature of a place and how the authors have used the art of storytelling to reflect the world and the culture around them.