Peek inside Rome's secret sites with FAI

Noted Italian buildings open for Giornate FAI di Primavera on 19 and 20 March.

Some 900 libraries, palaces, archaeological sites and religious buildings across Italy are open to the public free of charge on 19 and 20 March, for the 24th annual spring open days organised by the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI).

Many of the sites participating in the Giornate FAI di Primavera initiative are not normally accessible to the public.

Some of the Roman treats in store this year include a peek inside the Palazzo Boncompagni-Corcos, a Baroque palace on Via del Governo Vecchio 3; the Palazzo Caetani, a mid-16th century palace on Via delle Botteghe Oscure 32, belonging to the ancient noble Caetani family; the Italian Military Engineering Museum on Lungotevere della Vittoria 31; a tour through normally off-limits sections of the Roman Forum from the Foro di Traiano to the Foro della Pace; and Villa del Priorato on Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, owned by the Knights of Malta whose grounds are usually ownly partially-glimpsed through the keyhole with the magical view of St Peter's from the Aventine hill.

For those interested in taking a spin outside the capital, there are tours in English of Villa Gregoriana in Tivoli, which can also be visited all year round.

The complete list of participating buildings and monuments, as well as their visiting times, can be seen on the FAI website, and there is an App available to download too.

Similar to Britain’s National Trust, FAI works to preserve and promote Italy’s cultural heritage through education, restoration and annual open days.