This year’s Open Monuments Weekend in Italy takes place on the 24th and 25th of March. If you’re in Italy at this time circle the dates in red in your diary. This is the one weekend in the year that many of the privately owned grand houses and gardens throw open their doors and invite in the public. And entrance is usually free. Things just get better and better.
The Giornata FAI di Primavera happens every year on the weekend closest to the beginning of spring. It’s organized by a group called Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano (FAI), the Italian version of The National Trust, who have a website completely in Italian. Not very helpful. And given the enticing maps and photographs just downright frustrating. If you have an Italian friend or hotel concierge get them to translate for you. I would recommend also asking at the local tourist office where you’re staying to translate the site as information comes to hand on which properties are open this year. I think the Italians like to keep this one a bit secret, but since they have such an incredible cultural heritage, it only natural that we all want to see it. Especially what usually lies behind usually closed doors.