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Starting Thursday, April 25, some of the most incredible historic palazzos, monasteries, parks and off-limits sites in and around Rome will be free and open to the public. It’s actually a follow up to the first “Giornata delle Dimore Storiche del Lazio,” which happened last October. The goal is to showcase the hidden treasures of Lazio, the region that encompasses Rome. The sites will be open through Sunday, April 28.

Though Rome is one of Italy’s most visited cities, Lazio often gets bypassed in favor of Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast and other picturesque regions. But Lazio is home to plenty of treasures, too, such as Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia — designed by Bernini and owned by one of Rome’s most powerful papal dynasties — and Castello Borghese a Pratica del Mare, the noble Borghese family’s palazzo by the coast in Pomezia.

Then there’s the Renaissance-era Palazzo Ruspoli, in the seaside town of Cerveteri, which is still home to the princesses Maria Pia and Giacinta Ruspoli.

Palazzo Ruspoli in Cerveteri. Photo courtesy of Rete delle Dimore Storiche del Lazio.
Palazzo Ruspoli in Cerveteri. Photo courtesy of Rete delle Dimore Storiche del Lazio.

Unlike the Giornate FAI di Primavera, this event is only happening in Lazio — not the rest of Italy. Visitors can explore 29 sites in the province of Rome, which encompasses the city of Rome and surrounding towns like Ariccia, Pomezia, Nettuno and Frascati (the latter of which is known for its vineyards).

The province of Viterbo, famous for its thermal hot springs, will throw open the doors of 16 sites. There will be another 13 sites to visit in Latina, nine in Frosinone and six in Rieti. Most towns are accessible by regional trains that depart from Rome’s Termini Station.

Without a doubt, some of the most incredible sites to see are in the capital city. Travelers reading this from a hotel room in Rome can head over to Palazzo Doria Pamphilj al Corso, which the noble Pamphilij family filled with paintings by Caravaggio, Raphael and Titian; and the Francesco Borromini-designed Collegio Innocenziano on Piazza Navona. The former is a museum that normally charges an entry fee, while the latter is typically closed to the public.

Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in Rome. Photo courtesy of Rete delle Dimore Storiche del Lazio.
Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in Rome. Photo courtesy of Rete delle Dimore Storiche del Lazio.

The sites will be free to visit during Giornata delle Dimore Storiche del Lazio, but the number of people will be limited and reservations (for a maximum of four people per group) are required. To reserve your spot, email dimorestoriche@tosc.it or call +39-063-281-0961. There will also be a series of performances and tastings of local products at some of the sites during the four-day affair.

Featured photo courtesy of Rete delle Dimore Storiche del Lazio.

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