This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Missed Italy’s Museum Week this month? You’re in luck. More than 1,100 sites all over the country will be free and open to the public on March 23 and 24.

The 26th annual edition of Giornate FAI di Primavera (FAI Spring Days) is a project of the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI), an organization founded in 1975 that preserves and protects historic landmarks, gardens, parks, villas and castles throughout Italy. According to Condé Nast Traveler, only 30 of the sites participating in FAI Spring Days are actually owned by FAI, while more than 1,000 are privately owned buildings normally off-limits to the public.

The gardens of Villa del Balbianello will be free and open to the public this weekend. Photo courtesy of FAI.
The gardens of Villa del Balbianello will be free and open to the public this weekend. Photo courtesy of FAI.

FAI runs some of the country’s most incredible sites, including Villa Necchi Campiglio — the midcentury home in Milan where director Luca Guadagnino filmed “I Am Love” — and the historic Villa del Balbianello on Lake Como, where scenes from “James Bond: Casino Royale” were filmed.

Both will be open this weekend, but reservations are required at Villa Necchi Campiglio and only the gardens of Villa del Balbianello will be free to the public. Access to the interiors will be restricted to FAI members, but you can sign up on the spot.

A membership costs €39 (about $44) for adults and is valid for one year. In addition to granting access to FAI’s 36 sites in Italy, a membership also includes access to sites run by the National Trust of England and Wales, the National Trust for Jersey, the National Trust for Scotland and the National Trust for Australia. Members also get discounts at 1,500 cultural sites across Italy, including Florence’s Palazzo Strozzi and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.

Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan is a must-visit site for architecture and design lovers. Photo courtesy of FAI.
Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan is a must-visit site for architecture and design lovers. Photo courtesy of FAI.

Many sites participating in FAI Spring Days are asking for suggested donations of around €5 (nearly $6), which will go toward maintenance and preservation.

Normally, sites like Villa Necchi Campiglio have limited hours and might require visitors to go on a guided tour, rather than wandering around freely, as you would in a museum.

For FAI Spring Days, some 40,000 volunteers will be on hand to help answer questions and 100 foreign guides will offer tours in English, Hindi, Arabic and other languages.

If you can’t hop on a last-minute flight this weekend, consider planning a trip to Italy this fall for FAI Autumn Days. The dates have not yet been announced, but will likely be in either September or October.

Featured photo of Villa del Balbianello courtesy of FAI.

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points Terms Apply.

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Delta Sky Club and Centurion lounge access, $200 annual airline fee credit and up to $200 in Uber credits annually

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.