FAI Day of Spring celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year. More than 6.5 million Italian have taken part in this popular festival since its inception.
The event is an amazing national show of art and beauty dedicated to everyone who cares about Italian cultural and natural heritage and is set in hundreds of unique locations, many of which are usually off limits to the public. To celebrate the twentieth edition of FAI Day of Spring, 670 protected sites will be open across Italy, including the most popular ones of the past.
To support the Foundation, send an SMS to 45504 between March 12-25 2012.
Some of the protected sites in Tuscany that will be open include:
BADIA A SETTIMO - SCANDICCI (FI) - The Abbey of San Salvatore and San Lorenzo
Considered one of the most important historical sites in Scandicci, and recently restored after the damage of WWII, the origins of the Badia date back to 988 when it was a center of public life. The monks who lived there were responsible for draining the swamps around the Arno which led to some of the first rural settlers, which eventually led to the growth of Scandicci. From 1236 the Badia was run by the Cistercense of San Galgano, who occupied it until 1732. They were responsible for fortifying it, and the traces of their work are still visible. The Church of Saints Salvatore and Lorenzo is located within the Badia, where two Ghirlandaio plaques from the XV century can be seen.
VALPIANA - MASSA MARITTIMA (GR) - Foundry and ironworks of the Magona Granducale
The territory of Massa has many industrial-archaeological sites dating back to the XVI-XVIII, including the old ironworks, hydric plants, and timber mills, which were in practice until not so long ago. The Valpiana Foundry was first built by Magona in 1578 and by the end of the XVI century functioned smoothly. At the end of the XVIII century, the town of Valpiana was rebuilt because of its importance to the mining industry. New factories, new housing, a new nail factory, a new Customs Office and a new osteria were all built. Unfortunately, because the foundry did not keep up with the technology of the time, it fell victim to the development of the more modern ironworks in Follonica.
SIENA - PALAZZO VENTURI GALLERANI - Protected site normally off limits to the public
Giuseppe Venturi Gallerani, a nobleman from Siena, decided, in 1790, to spruce up his family home and commissioned the Milanese painter Luigi Ademollo to redecorate the walls and ceilings of his home. Between 1793-1794, the artist worked on the ceilings and chapel of the home, decorating four of the rooms with mythological subjects.
SIENA PALAZZO SERGARDI - Protected site normally off limits to the public
This palace is one of the most important examples of XVIII Sienese art and architecture. Built for Fabio Sergardi in 1744 by Paolo Posi, it has wall paintings done by some of the most important artists in Siena in the XVIII century. The halls of the main floor show frescoes done in 1794-1795 by Neoclassical Milanese painter, Luigi Ademollo, which have been perfectly conserved.
PIETRASANTA (LU) Rocca di Sala
The Rocca di Sala, which is better known as Rocca Ghibellina, is a Longobard fort and is one of the best places to see the view from Pietrasanta, which is a few kilometers from Lucca. The fort was built in a manneristic style with square rooms and a large central tower. In 1300 the central part was enlarged by Castruccio Castracani, and at the same time a new fort was built, the Rocca Arrighina. The town of Pietrasanta grew up in the shadow of these two forts.
DISCOVER ALL THE EVENTS IN TUSCANY
Signing up for FAI shows civic spirit and is also a benefit: members will avoid long lines and be entitled to special tours on FAI Day. Seeing that the event has also been a major success with foreigners since 2008, there will also be a project entitled "Art. A Bridge Between Cultures" which celebrates 30 cities and which will have specialized tours in many languages. Archaeological sites, nature walks, small towns, gardens, churchs, museums, excursions and bike tours will be available to all people who care to visit. 40% of the sites will also be wheelchair accessible. Visitors can also make use of one of the 15,000 Intern Ciceros, young students who will explain the artistic and historic sites.
This year there will be a photography competition. "Click Spring" - the most beautiful photos of Spring will be rewarded with trips to the most beautiful European cities.