Some 750 libraries, stately homes, archaeological sites and religious buildings all over Italy are open to the public free of charge on 22 and 23 March, for the 22nd annual spring open day organised by the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI).

Many of the sites participating in the Giornate FAI di Primavera initiative are not normally accessible to the public.

The Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI), often called the Italian National Trust, is a nonprofit organization tasked with preserving Italy’s rich artistic and natural heritage.


Each spring, FAI promotes a weekend in which hundreds of landmarks normally off-limits to the public open their doors. Guided tours, some in English, help foster understanding of the cultural significance of these places. Altogether, over 700 landmarks will welcome visitors this weekend.

The list of open places during Giornata FAI di Primavera varies from year to year. 


This year’s theme of the Open Spring Days in Rome is the bi-millenary anniversary of AUGUSTUS:


The Forum of Augustus, a section of the Roman Forum built under his rule, includes a wide square and the most important temple wanted by Rome’s first emperor. It was the quintessential propaganda venue, where Augustus’ deeds were celebrated.


The Mausoleum of Augustus has been closed for decades. The last time FAI opened it to the public was in 1994. It’s Augustus monumental grave (the biggest of the Ancient Roman World) and dominates the whole square with its round shape. Furthermore, it has a very fascinating and troubled story.


The Theatre of Marcello is also closed to the public. It was dedicated by Augustus to his favorite nephew who died very young. It became the model for countless theatres all over the Empire. The visit will take you to the second level of the theatre.


But FAI landmarks are not only ancient Roman ones. Some other treats include a peek inside the Bank of Italy's Museum of Money, which opens its doors for the first time to the public; It displays Italian coins from Monarchy to the Euro and is located where the Italian portion of euro banknotes are actually printed.


The Casa delle Armi at the Foro Italico, and the Palazzo Uffici at EUR. 

The Weapons House in Rome’s monumental sport complex Foro Italico is a masterpiece of rationalistic architecture inaugurated in 1939 by Mussolini himself as the Fascist Fencing Academy and will also feature fencing performances on Saturday.

EUR Inc. headquarters, a lavishly decorated building imbibed with Fascist propaganda, featuring a monumental fountain and an anti-aircraft bunker.


Outside Rome visitors can enjoy Palazzo Giustiniani Odescalchi in Bassano Romano near Viterbo, while there are also tours in English of Villa Gregoriana in Tivoli and the Torre in Pietra Castle, near Fiumicino, close to Rome’s main airport, built in 1254 for a Roman aristocratic family.


Learn more at (Italian only). The site offers a clickable map linking to lists of open sites within all regions of the country. Entry to some locations is limited to supporters of the FAI. There is no set cost for entry to the landmarks, but visitors are asked to donate to the organization.