Rome's most intriguing buildings open their doors from 12-13 May.Registration is now open for the 2018 edition of Open House Roma which involves more than 200 of Rome’s museums, libraries, galleries, studios, academies and contemporary buildings - to which there is normally limited public access - opening free of charge over the weekend of 12-13 May.
Since its launch in 2012, the annual initiative dedicated to Rome’s varied architectural design has opened up hundreds of interesting, important and sometimes off-limits buildings.Highlights of the seventh edition include guided tours of the Città dello Sport at Tor Vegata, the Italian Space Agency, the cloister at the convent of S. Maria sopra Minerva, the Plenary Hall at the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, and the Innovation Hub at Tiburtina and the Città del Sole.Open House volunteers will also lead underground tours, including the scavi under the Basilica of S. Sabina, the underground basilica at Porta Maggiore and the Case Romane al Celio.There are walking tours of Rome's "talking statues" (statue parlanti), a street art tour of S. Basilio, a bike tour of street art and abandoned buildings from Flaminio to Testaccio organised by Forgotten Project, visits to the Ostiense post office and the Commonwealth war cemetery, the waterfall garden in EUR, and a glimpse inside the hydraulic systems behind the Trevi Fountain and the Fontanone.Participating museums include the Museo Boncompagni Ludovisi, Museo Hendrik Christian Andersen and the Museo Mario Praz while the palaces on the list include Palazzo Carpegna, Palazzo Corsini and Palazzo delle Civiltà Italiana – home to Fendi – and the Bank of Italy headquarters at Palazzo Koch. In addition to the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna (GNAM) and the Farnesina art collection at Italy's foreign affairs ministry building, Open House art galleries include Contemporary Cluster, Fondazione Memmo, Fondazione Volume and the Gagosian. The programme also has a strong emphasis on the studios of the city's designers and architects.Foreign institutes opening their doors include the Brazilian embassy, the University of Notre Dame, and the academies of America, Denmark, Egypt, France, Japan, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. The 2018 edition celebrates the "fattore umano" (human factor) of architecture: described as a tribute to the owners, designers, inhabitants, restorers and Open House volunteers, to "all the people who love the city and take care of it daily and without whom the beauty of the places we open could not exist."
The Rome version of the worldwide Open House initiative, which began in London in 1992, is co-ordinated by non-profit cultural association Open City Roma and its 500 volunteers. Booking is required for many of the tours and children's workshops. For full programme see Open House website.