Last year on a Tripadvisor forum, we noticed a thread about Italy’s 20th Annual Open Monument Weekend, which prompted us to take a closer look at this outstanding annual event. Open Monument Weekend 2013 takes place the weekend of March 23 – 24 and marks twenty one years of sharing and exploring the cultural excellence of Italy. For those of you who have not heard of this wonderful annual event, Italy has for the past two decades opened up some of its historic private buildings and monuments to the public at no charge, so Italian citizens and visitors alike can appreciate the country’s cultural heritage. The event takes place over a single weekend, so you have to be organized if you want to take advantage of this opportunity.
This year, nearly 670 sites around Italy will be open. Unfortunately, information for Open Monument Weekend 2012 in English has been scant. The Giornate FAI di Primavera site is only in Italian. We went ahead and translated the website into English using Google’s nifty Translate function, so the Tour Italy Now community could have an English translation at its fingertips.
The full listing of buildings will be posted soon. For the time being, we know that the following four sites are among those that will be open over the Open Monument Weekend 2013.
ROME: The Oratory of the Filipinni Borromini Complex, built in the 17th century by Francesco Borromini.
MILAN: The Palace of the Bank of Italy, which is being opened to the public for the first time in its history. Inside there are works of art owned by the Bank and period furnishings.
NAPLES: The Royal Pontifical Basilica of San Giacomo degli Spagnoli, located in Palazzo S. James, Town Hall, which houses the tomb of Don Pedro de Toledo, Spanish viceroy who was responsible for the construction of the Church in 1504 and in Venice the Church of St. Lazarus of Beggars which houses works by Tintoretto and Veronese.
Obviously these three sites just scratch the surface! We will update you when the Open Monument Weekend 2013 posts its listing of open buildings.
In the meantime, if you’ve ever participated in the weekend, please share your stories and tips with us here in the comment section or on Facebook or Twitter: Facebook.com/TourItalyNow and Twitter.com/TourItalyNow
P.S. We couldn’t help but notice that one of the co-sponsors of Open Monument Weekend 2013 is Nutella!