Italian heritage exceptionally open during FAI Spring Days

Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 March 2019 the FAI – Fondo Ambiente Italiano (Italian Heritage Trust) invites everyone to participate in the FAI Spring Days, opening places that are often inaccessible and exceptionally open to visitors this weekend. Now in its 27th edition, the event has turned into a grandiose party for a vast public, which awaits every year to take part in this extraordinary collective ceremony, an unrepeatable appointment in italian cultural panorama that since 1993 has enthralled almost 11 million visitors. Year after year, the FAI Spring Days exceed themselves: in this edition 1,100 places open in 430 locations in all regions, thanks to the organizational thrust of the 325 groups of delegates scattered in all regions – regional, provincial and Youth Group delegations – and thanks to the 40.000 Cicerone Apprentices.

Exceptionally open is the botanical garden of the Istituto Agronomico per l’Oltremare (Overseas Agronomic Institute), specializing in tropical plants. Located in Florence, Tuscany.  The garden was established in 1904 by tropical agriculture specialists as part of the Istituto Agricolo Coloniale Italiano (Italian Colonial Institute) with an eye towards improving agriculture in Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Libya. Over the years the institute has evolved to become the Istituto Agronomico per l’Oltremare (IAO), a branch of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is now a technical-scientific body for studying, training, consulting, and providing technical assistance in agriculture and environmental protection. Today the garden contains about 300 species of useful tropical plants, primarily from Africa and the Americas. Plants are grouped according to use, with most in greenhouses but several dozen species growing outdoors. The collection includes sources of food like banana, cocoa, coconut, date, mango, papaya, pineapple, or vanilla, wood like mahogany, textiles such as cotton. The Institute also maintains an agriculture museum and entomological collection. Between Pontinia and Priverno in the province of Latina, the Parco dei Cinque Continenti opens his doors. Named by Antonio Aumenta, owner of one of the largest Italian nurseries, is a very rich collection of giant plants, but also very rare as result of years of research in Italy and in the world. Every curve leads to the next hills, and so the park is a succession of landscapes, woods, clearings with streams, lakes or waterfalls, deserts, forests, compositions of colorful flowers and exotic perfumes, which seem never to end. Nobody could imagine such a park, a secret garden of 16 hectares, hidden inside the nursery, a true dream thanks to the passion, competence and tenacity of the nurseryman and his family. The layout of the garden, designed by Pietro Porcinai, renowned as one of the most outstanding Italian landscape architects of the twentieth century, would be possible to admire at the Olivetti distric in Pozzuoli, Naples: the factory with a sea view. The project was entrusted in 1951 to the Neapolitan architect Luigi Cosenza. In his inaugural speech, the entrepreneur Adriano Olivetti expressed himself as follows: “Faced with the most singular gulf in the world, this factory has risen up in respect of the beauty of the places and so that the beauty was a comfort in the work of every day “. The plant covers a total area of 30,000 square meters and at the time of its opening it could accommodate 1300 workers. In the province of Massa e Carrara, in Pontremoli opens the palace and the garden Negri-Dosi. Designed by Giovan Battista Natali between 1732 and 1738, it rivals the facade of the palace on the garden, which with its arcades, large windows and blind arches mediates the late Mannerist taste with that of the early Baroque. From the porch leads to the magnificent staircase adorned with statues, with a marble balustrade, and then to the gallery illuminated by large windows, at the bottom of which is a distant building. After several changes of ownership the Dimora reaches the Marquises Dosi and it became a princely mansion with a garden, a true place of delights, at the bottom of which there is a belvedere.


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