Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October 2023 sees the return of the great event dedicated to Italy’s cultural heritage and landscape with the exceptional opening of over 700 inaccessible or little-known sites in 360 cities all over Italy.
Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October 2023 will see the return of the FAI Autumn Days, the much-loved and eagerly awaited street event that FAI has been dedicating to Italy’s cultural heritage and landscape for the past twelve years. During the weekend, animated and promoted with enthusiasm by the FAI Youth Groups, together with all the volunteers of the Trust’s throughout Italy, special free-contribution visits will be offered to more than 700 extraordinary places in 360 cities, selected because they are usually inaccessible or because they are curious, original or little-known (list of open places and how to take part from the beginning of October on www.giornatefai.it (in Italian).
The public will be able to marvel at the richness and variety of the treasures of history, art and nature that are hidden, unexpected and astonishing, in every corner of the Peninsula: these will include historical palaces, villas, churches, castles, as well as examples of industrial archaeology, museums, art collections, archaeological sites, libraries, craft workshops and production sites. There will also be itineraries in villages and routes in nature areas, urban parks, botanical gardens and historic gardens. The FAI Autumn Days are the main event of the major national awareness-raising and fund-raising campaign “October of FAI”, promoted by the Foundation in support of Italy’s cultural and environmental heritage.
Also in 2023, the FAI Autumn Days will unveil to the public numerous unusual and curious places, little-known ‘gems’ and precious repositories of small and great stories. In Borgo San Lorenzo (FI), for example, the Chini Museum will open, dedicated to the artistic history of the famous Tuscan family of ceramists and decorators, including Galileo, one of the leading exponents of the Liberty movement in Italy. In Tarquinia (VT), the Bandita by Sebastian Matta (1911-1922), a former 18th-century convent purchased in 1969 by the Chilean artist, one of the most visionary of the 20th century, to turn it into an evocative place of work and rest, scattering the large spaces of the complex, from the garden to the chapel, with his works.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of its inauguration, the Venina Hydroelectric Power Station in Piateda (SO), an impressive example of Lombard industrial architecture from the last century, will be open to visitors.
Now owned by the Edison group, it represents one of the country’s main sources of renewable energy in Valtellina. A visit to the Monumental Cemetery in Parabita (LE), designed in 1967 by architects Alessandro Anselmi and Paola Chiatante of GRAU (Gruppo Romano Architetti Urbanistici) to the acclaim of the most prestigious architecture and urban planning magazines, will be surprising. Inaugurated in 1982, the cemetery represents a cornerstone of post-modernism in Italy, thanks to the characteristic dislocation of the buildings, which at a glance recall the forms of a Corinthian capital. In Rovereto (TN) the Manifattura Tabacchi will exceptionally open to the public: active from 1854 to 2008, since 2009 it has undergone a major urban regeneration, becoming an incubator for start-ups in the sectors of eco-sustainable building, renewable energy and technologies for the environment and sport. The Biblioteca Italiana per i Ciechi ‘Regina Margherita’ (Italian Library for the Blind), founded in 1928 and still a reference centre for the loan and distribution of books and musical scores for the blind worldwide, will open in Monza.
Keeping faith with its commitment to promote a culture of nature and an ever-increasing awareness of man’s role in the environment, the FAI will once again be proposing many openings and itineraries “in the green” during the 2023 Autumn Days. In Piazzola sul Brenta (PD) it will be possible to visit the romantic garden designed by the Venetian architect Giuseppe Jappelli between 1832 and 1845 for the villa of the Trieste family, now privately owned. A nature trail in the autumn foliage will be the Parco del Lago Moro, a small alpine lake between Darfo Boario Terme and Angolo Terme (BS), one of the areas with the highest concentration of biodiversity in Europe, where numerous protected species from Valcamonica coexist. A visit to the Palude di Casalbeltrame (NO) nature reserve in the Ticino Valley Park will be reserved for FAI members. Surrounded by rice fields and tall vegetation, the marsh is home to over two hundred species of birds, mostly aquatic. In Limbiate (MB), open doors to Villa Pusterla-Crivelli-Arconati, which now houses the Istituto Tecnico Agrario Statale “Luigi Castiglioni” (Luigi Castiglioni State Agricultural Technical Institute), after having been the site of a psychiatric hospital for more than 130 years and, in the early 19th century, Napoleon Bonaparte’s headquarters. Again, to remain on the theme of places for environmental education understood as the interweaving of Nature and History, the Istituto Tecnico Agrario “Cosimo Ridolfi” in Scerni (CH) will open, perfectly set in the landscape of the Abruzzo hills. Founded in 1876, with its state-of-the-art laboratories and the presence of a production company, it represents excellence in the field of education and a point of reference in the training of young experts in the entire agricultural sector.
There will also be several villages and small municipalities to discover during the FAI Autumn Days 2023. These include Anversa degli Abruzzi (AQ), with its hamlet of Castrovalva, made famous by a view by Escher. Included in the Sagittario Gorge Nature Reserve and a destination for artists and writers, the first regional literary park dedicated to Gabriele D’Annunzio, who was deeply attached to these places, was created here. In the heart of the hills of Lucca, you will visit the fortified village of Nozzano, with its crenelated donjon, which appears almost intact to the urban transformations of recent centuries. In the Rieti area, you can visit Montenero Sabino, a characteristic medieval village dominated by the imposing Orsini Castle and rich in archaeological evidence. Immersed in the luxuriant nature of the Sabine Mountains, the inhabited center has a peculiar elongated shape ‘a spindle Acropolis’ perched on a rocky spur.
In an itinerary that combines the local traditions of historical workshops with historical-artistic peculiarities, rarely accessible to the public, one can visit Vezzano Ligure (SP), which embodies the most authentic features of the Gulf of La Spezia and those of Lunigiana. Umbria is not missing from the list with the village of Arrone (TR), in the Valnerina, not far from the Marmore Falls, which preserves the typical medieval layout of turreted walls and characteristic alleys, in addition to a highly evocative natural setting.The complete list of places to visit and how to participate in the event from the beginning of October is at: www.giornatefai.it – www.fondoambiente.it (in Italian).