19 and 20 March 2016: the XXIV edition of the FAI Spring (Italian Environment Fund, www.fondoambiente.it and www.giornatefai.it) gets to heart of the matter, with over 900 open places in 380 cities. On the basis of the more than 8.5 million participants in recent years, the FAI proposes the exciting discovering of Italy through extraordinary visits, under the High Patronage of the President of the Republic.

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Two days open to all, especially with regard to the FAI members, for those registered online or on site (the registration is valid throughout the year to receive discounts and free gifts), and for those who actually support the foundation by sharing the goals and mission with a free contribution. Exclusive tours will be dedicated to all of them, special entries and special events.

The FAI, a non-profit foundation, founded in 1975 by an idea of Elena Croce, daughter of the philosopher Benedetto Croce, who had in mind to draw in Italy the English National Trust. Today is a dream come true with the dedication of the collaborators in designing it, with the enthusiasm and generosity of so many citizens, businesses and institutions. Over the years they have been actively acquired 52 properties, 30 of which are constantly open to the public. Jewelry with high historical, cultural, landscape and naturalistic value and by inestimable importance, and which thanks to the Fund, today returned to be part of the global heritage.

The Spring Event is a well-known event, in a serene climate of sharing, and that everyone can customize based on their own inclinations, of their emotions and their own life experience. An enrichment of knowledge, values and identity of all Italians. You can visit archaeological areas, industrial villages, buildings, nature trails, villages, gardens, churches, museums, castles, and have the opportunity to go for special tours, bike rides and cultural itineraries. The visits will be guided by more than 30,000 young students, volunteers and “Apprentices Tourist Guide”.

The goal? Valuing people, and heritage of Italian country. The defence and the love for our artistic and environmental heritage is not just about Italians but, with the project “Art. A bridge between cultures “, will be presented again tours in different languages, targeted to foreign citizens who will use culture as an additional tool for social integration, which will bring about understanding and participation in a delicate historical moment.

There will be a meeting in each Region with wonderful surprises representing Italy in all its aspects.

Naples, enabled the visit of the Girolamini Library, under judicial seizure from 2012 following the serious thefts perpetrated by the then custodian and director, which devastated the collection that Filipino fathers had built over the centuries, along with other many beautiful places.

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Rome, will open the Historical Institute of Culture and the Corps of Engineers, closed for a long time for restoration works, in whose museum area are collected important evidence of military engineering and architecture: the monoplane that flew to Libya in 1911, plastics that evoke battles, the relics and the rooms dedicated to the media, and the Villa of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta on the Aventine, with architectural interventions by Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

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Milan will open the Royal Pavilion of Central Station, opened in 1931, to welcome the royal family, hidden gem and seldom enabled for visits, returned in 2007 to its ancient splendour thanks to a major restoration work carried out by Grandi Stazioni Spa, in collaboration with the Superintendence for Architectural Heritage of Milan.

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Genoa and its port, where you can visit the Terminal SECH, a leading Italian container terminal, optimal base for discharging and loading containers and for logistical centers hubs.

Another important stage in Matera, discovering the Church of Santa Maria della Valle: closed to the public for many years, it is the largest parietal church of the city, one of the most interesting examples of integration between architecture and dug environment. Though also Venice, La Spezia, Aosta and many other places are in. About 40% of open goods are accessible to people with physical disabilities.

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Days of Spring also mean floriculture markets, local craft stands, creative workshops, guided bike tours and special visits.

There will be a fundraiser, March 14 to 27, for the project “Insieme Cambiamo l’Italia” (“Together we change Italy”), by sending a solidarity sms to 45599.

The technology stands on the side of FAI friends: you can download the FAI app, geolocalized, which will spot your location and show you the map of the nearest places to visit.

An opportunity for all, discovering the many hidden corners of Italy.

Article by Rosa Visaggio

English Translation by Piergiorgio Mancini