670 libraries, stately homes, archaeological sites and religious buildings all over Italy are open to the public free of charge on 24 and 25 March, for the 20th annual spring open day organised by the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI). Many of the participating sites are not normally accessible to the public.
In Milan, some of the sites that can be visited include the Bank of Italy building which opens to the public for the first time in its history. Opened 100 years ago, the building’s recently-restored rooms, which contain period furniture and works of art by Balla, Guttuso and Hayez, can be visited.
The Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, better known as the Academy of Brera, also opens its doors to the public. The prestigious institution of higher education in art and music was founded by Empress Maria Theresa of Austria in 1776.
Similar to Britain’s National Trust, FAI works to preserve and promote Italy’s cultural heritage through education, restoration and annual open days.
This year, those who wish to support the work of FAI can make a donation of €2 by texting 45504.
The complete list of monuments and open can be seen on www.giornatafai.it.