Silvio's Italian American Historical Artistic Museum

Sep 13, 2017 319

According to Silvio Luigi Barile, most people don't understand the art that he's built at his pizzeria for the past 50 years -- but they like it. Silvio is an Italian World War II refugee. He moved to Michigan with his family, then opened a pizzeria and pastry shop. But the longer that Silvio lived in America, the more he felt that he had to create a museum -- a museum of art about Italy and America, by Silvio.

His sculptures slowly began to fill the pizzeria, then the patio behind it, then the acre of woodland behind the patio. By the time local authorities shut down the pizzeria, the art had already overrun the place. The Italian American Historical Artistic Museum shows where five decades of gradual accumulation can lead. The former pizzeria is now a cozy nest of Italian Americanism. Interior walls are covered with photos of Caesar statues, Roman ruins, Renaissance paintings, olive trees.

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