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Villa Montalvo
March 17, 2023

Fai Days of Spring 2023: all the places open in Tuscany on March 25 and 26

Our mini-guide to choose which FAI visits to book province by province

Fai Days of Spring 2023 return on March 25 and 26 throughout Italy and provide free access to more than 750 places in 400 cities, most of them usually inaccessible or little known.

In Tuscany over 41 special places that reveal an extraordinary wealth whose importance in terms of culture, history and traditions, sometimes hidden or unconventional, tells the identity of our country.

We remind you that to participate in the FAI Days, it is necessary to book (no later than midnight of the day before the visit) through the FAI website.



The itinerary will lead visitors to discover the architectural transformation of Arezzo's Via Sacra where in the Middle Ages numerous hospitals, monasteries and lay companies lined up along this kilometer-long route. Now called Via Garibaldi, it features architecture ranging from the 14th century to the 1920s. The itinerary begins from largo Benadir where the FAI desk will be located , groups will be formed and accompanied to the narration of the historic buildings starting with the Church of the Santissima Annunziata, Palazzo Barbolanida Montauto, Palazzo Ciocchi Del Monte (Museum of Medieval and Modern Art, the Finance Palace famous for hosting the filming of the movie "Life is Beautiful ", Logge del Grano, Piazza del Popolo and Church of the Holy Trinity and exceptionally the doors of the Liceo Francesco Petrarca guardian of the beautiful stone fountain designed by Guglielmo da Marcillat will be opened.



Starting from the monumental lemon house, we will visit the gardens and frescoed rooms on the ground floor encountering the history of the successive families and particularly that of the Hispanic-Florentine Ramirez de Montalvo family. Through the loggias and the inner garden we will reach the aristocratic chapel, an oratory built in the 18th century where it will be possible to see the tomb of Eng. Felice Matteucci, the Italian inventor of the internal combustion engine (1854) who owned and lived in the villa together with his wife Giulia, the last of the Ramirez de Montalvo family. In places not accessible to the public, you will be taken on an immersion in the atmosphere of a Florentine country villa in which idleness and production are contemplated in the same building two visits at 9:30 a.m. for Enrolled by reservation by Dr. Enrico Sartoni, with insights and a visit to a room on the second floor with eighteenth-century frescoes, excluded from the normal tour route.

  • FONDAZIONE ROBERTO LONGHI (for FAI members by reservation)

We will visit Roberto Longhi's library and studio and various private rooms that have retained their furnishings in these domestic spaces, along with photographs depicting them and objects proper to everyday life.The paintings on display will allow us to retrace the interests and the course of Roberto Longhi's research, which, in a variety of cases, marked the fortunes of schools and artists. From the fourteenth-century Tuscan and Po Valley panels, through some of the most representative canvases by Lombard and Genoese painters active between the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, to the most significant nucleus of the collection documenting the great current of seventeenth-century Naturalism. Crowning Caravaggio's Ragazzo morso da un ramarro (Boy Bitten by a Lizard) is an extensive sampling of masterpieces "by his Italian and European followers, almost all of whom are present here.There will be no shortage of works related to the artists of Longhi's "militant critic," paintings by Carlo Carrà and, above all, Giorgio Morandi.


The visit to the headquarters of the Bank of Italy from the large atrium characterized by an imposing wooden coffered ceiling in neo-Renaissance style supported by four columns of pietra serena. From here we will begin to climb the monumental elliptical staircase, a masterpiece of Cipolla whose ascending dynamism of the helicoidal ramps is strongly accentuated by the light raining down from the large skylight above. On the two upper floors we will be able to admire the furnishings, decorations by Girolamo Magnani and Luigi Busi, and we will have the opportunity to visit various rooms, including the Shareholders' Meeting Room, the Office of the Director of the Headquarters, the Board of Regents' Room, and the Assembly Hall. Important works of art are located within the rooms, including a Madonna Enthroned, a 16th-century polychrome wood sculpture. (SATURDAYS 10:30 A.M. AND 3 P.M.; SUNDAYS 10:30 A.M. AND 3 P.M. TOURS CONDUCTED BY BANK STAFF, FOR MEMBERS DO BY RESERVATION).



A tour of both the exterior, through the formal gardens, and the interior of the villa, including the chapel of St. Thomas. News about the historical evolution of the Italian-style park. In 1966 Villa Schifanoia with its garden hosted the set of Ettore Scola's famous film "L'Arcidiavolo," starring Vittorio Gassmann. Access for the first time to some of the rooms on the ground floor of the building (including the main hall and the former library, which houses a magnificent 16th-century wooden ceiling of Spanish manufacture of inestimable value) and to the loggia on the upper floor (called Sala Belvedere): these are rooms not normally accessible to the public, currently used for the academic activities of the Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies, one of the main research centers of the EUI. The entrance to the mansion can only be reached on foot. Comfortable footwear is recommended.

Villa Schifanoia



The nature trail will begin from the parking lot reserved for us that day near the Nature Reserve. The entire path, about one kilometer long and lasting twenty minutes, will be on foot on sandy ground, crossing the tombolo that separates the sea from the wetland, a strip of coastal dune, managed by the WWF, miraculously intact. Starting from the oldest part in the midst of the Mediterranean scrub, where you can enjoy the extraordinary scents of wild plants such as myrtle, helichrysum, rosemary and many others, you will also have the opportunity to admire some plants of particular value, monumental plants included in the national list along with the oldest and most peculiar in our country. It is precisely at the height of one of these, a cork oak over 400 years old, that the trail will enter the path to reach Lake Burano and the Buranaccio Tower, the final destination of the walk.


The FAI desk for accreditation and start of the route will be in front of the Fonti dell'Abbondanza, the entire route will take about 3 hours, comfortable shoes recommended
Urban route on the importance of the relationship between the city and land resources for the development of arts, crafts and traditions. The route starts from the Fonti dell'Abbondanza building with an overlook to the water supply tunnel from the medieval age, opened especially for the FAI. Next, the cathedral and the work of the stonemasons who shaped it. The route will continue to a currently closed space, reopened especially for FAI, the ancient carpenter's workshop that contains an ethno-anthropological collection of woodworking tools emblematic of the close relationship between town and forest. Access will be gained to the headquarters of the three terzieri, which are exceptionally open to the public who will come into contact with crafts related to the Balestro del Girfalco (the forging of crossbow quads, weaving and artistic handicrafts). Lastly, inaugural visit to the Città Nuova Historic Oil Mill, restored and reopened just for Fai days (PALAZZO MALFATTI EXCEPTIONALLY OPEN TO VISITS FOR FAI MEMBERS).



The opening on FAI Days includes a tour inside the cemetery area to discover the various areas that make it up; part of the city's history will be retraced through the graves of illustrious and not-so-illustrious citizens belonging to the most diverse ethnic, creed and social backgrounds. The use of comfortable shoes is recommended. Access for dogs is regulated by the City of Livorno, which owns the property.


The opening of this property during the FAI Days will allow visitors to access a site usually closed to the public and to discover some of the characters and stories of the Jewish community present in the city since its beginnings. The use of comfortable shoes is recommended.
Animals are not allowed.


For escorted visits to the Greek Orthodox, report to the FAI BANK located in front of the entrance to the Dutch Alemanno Cemetery,225 Marco Mastacchi Street. From here the joint visit of the two cemeteries will start with a single contribution, including the two visits.
The visit will last about 45 minutes for each site. The use of comfortable shoes is recommended. Animals are not allowed. The cemetery acquires monumental character for several aspects, mainly related to the historical, cultural and artistic character it takes on; it becomes a memorial of the presence of the Greek community in Livorno and of a historical period of great development, as well as a reminder of the names of the great families of the Livorno bourgeoisie. Also added are the presence of notable artifacts and fine funerary sculptures, some made by Themistocles Guerrazzi, and the burials of important personalities and noblemen.



For escorted visits to the Dutch Alemanno and Greek Orthodox Monumental Cemetery please report to the FAI BANK located in front of the entrance to the Dutch Alemanno Cemetery,225 Marco Mastacchi Street. From here the joint visit of the two cemeteries will start with a single contribution, including the two visits. This property is currently undergoing redevelopment and enhancement. The Fai days are an opportunity to visit a place that is usually not accessible and retrace a part of the city's history through the stories of many well-known families rooted in the fabric of the city. For visits to the Dutch Alemanno and Greek Orthodox Monumental Cemetery, report to the FAI BANK located at the entrance to the Dutch Alemanno Cemetery, 225 Marco Mastacchi Street. The joint visit of the two cemeteries will start from here, with a single contribution including the two visits. The visit will last about 45 minutes for each site. IMPORTANT: For members or those who sign up during FAI days, a visit to the Greek Orthodox Cemetery Church will be reserved at the end of the visit.



Spa cures and board games in 19th-century Bagni di Lucca: a successful combination for the well-being and enjoyment of guests. The tour will begin at the Casino, with the Fai counter and the welcoming of visitors, who, in groups of 25 people, will be accompanied by volunteers to discover the beautiful buildings of the village, the Bernabò Thermal Bath and the Casino, where it will be possible to relive the magic of historical games such as Biribisso, Pharaoh, Torricella and Roulette, thanks to the help of volunteers in historical dress from the Vicaria Val di Lima, who will animate the party rooms of the neoclassical Municipal Casino.


The tour will begin at the entrance to the barracks on the wall with a welcome at the FAI desk. Groups of a maximum of 25 visitors will follow the Cicerone who, after a brief description of the Mint, will continue with the viewing in the display cases of casts, medals and other artifacts related to hairstyles, and toupees combed according to the use of the time. In conclusion and to further enhance the visit, there will be the presence of hair-stylist Gabriele Cipriani, a graduate of the Accademia del Cinema in Bologna, who will perform demonstrations on the ways in which the hairstyles of the Ladies of past eras were done and will show the techniques by which wigs were worn in ceremonies and Grand Galas.


The history of St. Catherine's Church for 200 years has been intertwined with that of the Manifattura Tabacchi opened July 7, 1815, a strong and important link.The workers before their work shift would drop by to pray, leaving Emilietta, the faithful janitor, the groceries to pick up at the end of work. Generations of female cigar workers did this until the church was closed because it was unusable. This explains the link between the workplace and the church-not only prayer but also a meeting between women of all ages-social aspect that justifies the attachment still so alive today to this church by the citizenry (ONLY FAI MEMBERS AND WHO WILL REGISTER CAN COME UP TO ADMIRATE THE SUSPENDED AFFRESCO).


Groups of about 25 visitors will be organized and after registering at the Fai Desk that will be located in the square in front of the institute and in case of rain the reception will be inside in the entrance hall of the institute. The formed group will begin in the main hallway with an explanation by a student cicerone who will tell with a historical introduction the birth of the institute and the main works of maestro Luigi Boccherini with a brief mention of the work Fandango an excellence and modernity written by the maestro (whose 280th birth anniversary is this year). The tour will continue in the school's Library, where visitors can discover unpublished documents, scores and manuscripts.


The itinerary in the FAI days includes a visit to the historic center of the village of Seravezza and will be accompanied by the FAI volunteer storytellers, the children of the Galileo Chini school of Viareggio and the village committee. The visit will provide an opportunity to learn more about the history of this village through the discovery of its historical monuments and natural beauty such as the nearby mountains. We will start from the Villa Medicea, follow the Church of the Madonna del Carmine and the Marchi Chapel, the Cathedral of Saints Lorenzo and Barbara, pass in front of the monument "l'Apuano" on Via Roma; then, we will cross the point called "Puntone" where the Serra and Vezza rivers join and return toward the Villa.


The opening during Fai Days will allow visitors to enter the second floor of the Medici Palace, where the Museum of Work and Folk Traditions is located. A visit to the museum will allow visitors to rediscover many of the labor traditions of the Versilia area. In fact, with the guided tour of the Museum, visitors will be able to learn about the traditions of textile work, excavation, artistic and non-artistic marble working, iron working and many other trades, becoming themselves custodians, witnesses and storytellers of what were the main activities of a large part of the area, allowing them to become repositories of the historical-working memory of part of Versilia.



The train that can be visited in the CRI Operations Center in Marina di Massa specifically dates back to World War II and is still outfitted with the original furnishings, equipment and provisions. Some scenes from Anthony Minghella's film The English Patient were set in these carriages.



The museum is located in the center of Pisa, in a restricted traffic zone. A visit to the "Edda Bresciani" Egyptological Collections and the temporary exhibition includes a 30-minute guided tour and is an opportunity to discover one of the richest and most impressive collections of Egyptian antiquities in Tuscany. The opening during the FAI days is the last opportunity to admire the exhibition "From Egypt to Pisa: Gaetano Rosellini and His Collections": the three precious artifacts, on loan from the Opera della Primaziale Pisana (OPA) to which they were donated by Gaetano Rosellini in 1830, will be on display in the museum's second hall until April 30.



The Museum is located in the center of Pisa, in a restricted traffic zone. The Gipsoteca di Arte Antica e Antiquarium is partially open to the public. The opening is limited to the main hall, where much of the collection of historical plaster casts is located. In contrast, the rooms housing the collection of plaster busts and portraits and, above all, the holdings of hundreds of objects of prehistoric, Minoan-Mycenaean, Etruscan, Greek, Magna Graecia, and Roman art cannot be visited. The exclusion of these rooms from the itinerary is related to logistical and security reasons, as well as to the state of the collection of antiquities, which are currently being catalogued and restored. On the occasion of FAI Days, a selection of significant pieces (painted pottery, marble sculpture and terracotta votive statuettes) is exceptionally displayed to the public. Guided tours allow the public not only to learn about some extraordinary art treasures, but also to retrace the lives of collections that have marked the history of the University of Pisa.


The chapels are usually closed to the public, because the St. Joseph Institute is now a university boarding school and occasional venue for reflection and prayer groups. The nuns, very generously, have granted the opening for FAI days both to share, with visitors, these carefully preserved assets of theirs and because of their vocation for education and hospitality. Even the choice to use as storytellers the Apprentice Tour Guides of ISS Pacinotti,in fact, is part of their mission as educators. In 2010 the entire complex was carefully restored by architect A.Baldassari and the chapels returned to their former glory. The visit will include the garden,a characteristic hidden garden not visible from the outside, and the two chapels, which, in their diversity, testify to the long history of this articulated complex.



The tour will begin starting from the first of the 13 wind turbines where the FAI desk will be located for visitor accreditation. Everyone will receive special helmets before starting the guided tour. Thanks to two Edison guides, visitors will be able to discover the operation of the wind turbines and also visit them inside (only in the lower part for a total of maximum 4 people at a time), proceeding along the entire park. The tour lasts about an hour and takes place outdoors.



Volunteers from the Fai Pistoia Montagna Pistoiese Group will take you to discover the interior of San Jacopo in Castellare, closed to the public for decades and recently restored. The church, deconsecrated after the suppression of Bishop Scipione de Ricci in 1783, has had various uses over the years: first a wool mill, then the oratory of the adjacent Scuole Normali Leopoldine (now home to the State Archives), then after the unification of Italy the complex became municipal property. Numerous archaeological excavations have been carried out at the site, uncovering the cycle of 13th- and 14th-century frescoes that richly adorned the church walls with figures of saints, geometric decorations and elegantly crafted draperies. The church is nearing reopening to the public along with the former rectory and garden thanks to a redevelopment and restoration project funded by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia e Pescia and the City of Pistoia to create a cultural hub.

  • PALAZZO REALI VANNUCCI (reserved for FAI members)

Volunteers from the Fai Pistoia Montagna Pistoiese Group will accompany you to discover some of the rooms of Palazzo Reali Vannucci, a private palace in the heart of the city's historic center. Overlooking Via Abbi Pazienza, the palace is a treasure chest, never open to the public, of art and architecture. The Group will lead you, with visits dedicated only to FAI members, to discover the history of the families who built it, the history and toponyms of the urban fabric surrounding it, and the beauty it holds and connects it to the other historic buildings adjacent to it.



A view to discover the historic racecourse that can boast more than 100 years of activity, with its halls dedicated to Varenne: the best-known trotting horse in the world, he has always been considered one of the best trotters of all time.After his debut at the age of three, in 1998, he won at the Sesana Racecourse in Montecatini the Gran Premio Terme, and the following year, also at Sesana he won the Gran Premio Dante Alighieri, later to become the Gran Premio Nello Bellei. In addition, the small horseracing museum and a never-before-seen view in the spaces reserved for insiders such as the "roundhouse" and stables.


Chini's art enhances Art Nouveau charm and anticipates Art Deco. Capturing our attention will be the Fountain of the Naiads, a prototype of the fountain of the same name in Piazza Esedra in Rome, the Fountain of the cherub and the frog, the fireplace in the salon with its pediment painted with two proud angels bearing a cartouche with the date 1910, and the fairy-tale Sala della mescita. This is the story we will hear from a small castle that began as a shed for the flasks of brackish water that between the 1800s and '900s the Swiss entrepreneurs Schmitz from the Baths of Montecatini, as the spa town was called until 1905, sent by wagon to Florence.



The visit to Convitto Cicognini, curated by the apprentice ciceroni, will include the historical premises: theater, chapel, refectory and visiting room in which a small exhibition on Curzio Malaparte will be set up. A number of videos on the author will be shown in the main hall. The visit will then continue along the corridors on whose walls are displayed portraits of the school's historical rectors. During the FAI days, Atto Vannucci's library will be opened exclusively and for the first time, where documents and books testifying to his life and teaching activities will be on display.

Convitto Cicognini di Prato


We will discover the history of the Giunti Group through a visit to the Giunti Publishing Group's plant in Prato by touring the plant's production and logistics compartment.
This industrial space has a bindery that is the repository of the ancient artisan knowledge necessary for bookbinding, which houses a special workshop, what the expert craftsmen who still work there and call "Leonardo's workshop".And a place, that of Leonardo's workshop, inaccessible, which on FAI Days opens to visits .



The Accademia Chigiana, a fascinating place where time seems to have stopped at an era of beauty and taste, opens its palace and collections on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Micat in vertice concert season. In addition to showcasing the exceptional quality of the artistic heritage of Palazzo Chigi Saracini's collections, which include works by great masters such as Sassetta, Domenico Beccafumi, Sodoma, Rutilio Manetti, Bernardino Mei, Gian Lorenzo Bernini and many others, normally private spaces such as the chapel and library, places of great charm, which in turn house valuable works of art and an exceptionally interesting library and archival heritage, will be open to the public. In the tradition of the Accademia Chigiana, founded almost 100 years ago by Count Guido Chigi Saracini, a patron and connoisseur of the arts, a musical moment curated by the Accademia's own Artistic Direction will not be missed in a space with the charm of yesteryear.

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