For the past 15 years, Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano (FAI) has dedicated the first weekend of spring (this year, March 24 and 25) to Giornata di Primavera, a two-day national festival celebrating Italy as an open air museum of its own—this year involving every region of Italy for the first time. Over 500 monuments in over 200 cities, often closed to the public or open on a limited basis, will open their doors wide.
The festival invites Italians and visitors alike to pause and reconsider the cultural and historic beauty Italy contains—including many lesser-known, yet important palazzi, towers, churches and archeological sites. FAI hopes Italian in particular will see the country with new eyes, con occhi nuovi, including historic buildings that aren’t always given the attention that they merit.
No tickets are necessary to view these monuments, but FAI requests that donations be made to the organization, to be used in future preservation efforts. Here are a few of the sites that will be open this weekend:
Milan: headquarters of the well-known newspaper, Corriere della Sera, and the Palazzo Triennale
Venice: Chiesa della Pietà
Rome: Cappella de San Silvestro alla Scala Santa, opened for the first time since its restoration, and the Palazzo Marino, home to the Ministry of Marine Defense
Florence: Accademia della Crusca, the oldest of such language schools, and the Biblioteca Nazionale
For a full list of sites , organized by location, call (39) 0141 720850 or visit www.fondoambiente.it — Cailin Birch