To Do in Italy This Weekend: FAI Spring Days

This weekend is the perfect time to find yourself in Italy—great weather, pre-Easter celebrations and one of the most anticipated events of the year, the 20th annual Spring Open Days. Six hundred seventy cultural and historical sites all over Italy will be open to the public free of charge. The event is organized by the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI), the largest Italian non-profit organization for the preservation of Italian historical and natural heritage. Among the participating sites are gardens, churches, palaces, hiking trails, libraries and museums, many of which are not normally accessible to the public.

Some of the most attractive sites this year are in Milan, including the Bank of Italy building which will open to the public for the first time in history. The building’s recently-restored rooms, which contain period furniture and works of art by Balla, Guttuso and Hayez, can be visited. The prestigious institution of higher education in art and music, the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera will also open its doors to the public. It was founded by Empress Maria Theresa of Austria in 1776.

In Rome, the Villa Celimontana will open its doors, a 16th-century villa featuring lovely gardens and the recently restored marble mosaics of the Ninfeo dell’Uccelliera. Another first time opening will be held at the Oratorio dei Filippini. The oratory, Designed by Francesco Borromini, is located adjacent to the Chiesa Nuova in the historic center.

Registrations to FAI will be open during the event. Visitors who register with the association during those days will get priority access to the sites.

The complete list of monuments and openings can be seen at

— Danielle Rovet