Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
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Italy's secret sites open for FAI Spring Days 2023

Historic sites across Italy open for 2023 edition of Giornate FAI di Primavera.

Around 750 noted Italian buildings and historic sites open their doors to the public on the weekend of 25-26 March as part of the annual Spring Days initiative organised by the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI).

The sites include rarely-opened palaces, castles, abbeys, libraries, parks, nature trails and gardens in 400 towns and cities across Italy, in what is the 31st edition of the popular event.

Some of the highlights around Italy in this year's Giornate FAI di Primavera include:

Rome: the splendid 18th-century Villa Bonaparte, seat of the French embassy to the Holy See since 1950, built in 1750 between Porta Pia and Porta Salaria; the rationalist Palazzo Piacentini-Vaccaro, seat of Italy's ministry of economic development, with its stained glass windows designed by Mario Sironi; and Villa Wolkonsky, the residence of the British ambassador to Italy.

Milan: the 16th-century Palazzo Marino, located in the central Piazza della Scala, which has served as Milan's city hall since 1861; and the historic headquarters of state broadcaster RAI on Corso Sempione.

Bologna: The Academy of Sciences, which was founded in 1690, and prospered in the Age of Enlightenment.

Naples: The Neo-classical Palazzo Salerno in Piazza del Plebiscito which serves as the headquarters of the army in southern Italy.

Palazzo Piacentini-Vaccaro, Rome. Photo FAI.


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

Since it began in 1993, the spring open day initiative has attracted some 12 million visitors.

The tours and visits are free but participants are asked to make a minumum donation of €3 to support the work of FAI in its care of Italian cultural heritage.

The complete list of participating buildings and monuments, as well as visiting times, can be seen on the FAI website.

Cover image: Palazzo Bonaparte. Photo credit: Giovanni Formosa-FAI.

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Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia