Open House Rome

Open House returns to Rome with third edition

Many of Rome's museums, libraries, galleries and contemporary buildings to which there is normally limited public access are open free of charge over the weekend of 10-11 May as part of Open House Roma.

Dedicated to Rome's varied and sometimes off-limits architectural design, the third edition of the annual initiative was launched at the Casa dell'Architettura on 5 May.

This year there are guided tours in 166 public and private venues all over the capital, in a two-day programme that also includes 33 special events and 25 bicycle tours.

Tours take place from the centre to the suburbs, and the capital is sub-divided into seven areas: historic centre, Flaminio-Parioli, Nomentano-Pietralata, Esquilino-S. Lorenzo, Appio-S. Giovanni, EUR-Corviale, and Monterverde-Ostiense. Visitors can enjoy a behind-the-scenes peek at an eclectic list of participating buildings including the Hertziana Library, the Palazzetto Bianco, Palazzo Madama, Villa Farnesina, the marine ministry, the RAI headquarters, and the Corviale complex.

However it is the lesser-known venues that are perhaps the most exciting, such as architectural studios, cutting-edge private apartments and even construction sites.

Participating international institutes include the Hungarian Academy, the Spanish Academy, the Brazilian embassy, American Academy, Casa di Goethe, the French Academy at Villa Medici, the Danish Academy, Egyptian Academy and Japanese Cultural Institute. Co-ordinated by non-profit cultural association Open City Rome and its 400 volunteers, there are 50,000 visitors predicted at this year's event.

Rome remains the only Italian city involved in the worldwide initiative which began in London in 1992.

Booking is required for many of the Rome tours, some of which take place on Saturday only or Sunday only – for full details see website or check out Open House Roma Facebook page.