The most important event dedicated to our country’s cultural and natural heritage is back, with the exceptional opening of over 750 inaccessible or little-known places, throughout Italy.
The appointment with the FAI Spring Days is renewed on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th of March 2023.
FAI’s flagship event, now in its 31st edition, will offer the opportunity to discover and rediscover surprising treasures of art and nature, by participating in free-of-charge visits proposed by the Foundation’s volunteers in numerous cities.
Our Lake Como will be one of the protagonists of the FAI Spring Days, with its wonderful and exclusive villas and cultural places.
FAI Days 2023: a tour to discover Italian history, art, and natural beauties.
During the FAI weekend, you’ll have the possibility to amaze yourself by doing a tour to discover Italian history, art, and natural beauties. Special places, scattered in every corner of the peninsula, that reveal extraordinary wealth even where you least expect it.
Not only monuments of recognized value but also unpublished sites and unknown landscapes, whose importance in terms of culture, history, and traditions, sometimes hidden or unconventional, tells the identity of the most beautiful country in the world.
A huge heritage composed of villas, churches, historic buildings, castles, museums, and archaeological areas will be open for visits, as well as examples of industrial archeology, art collections, libraries, civil and military buildings, workplaces, and artisan workshops.
There will also be itineraries in the heart of small villages and walking tours into naturalistic areas, urban parks, botanical gardens, and historic gardens, for a wider “culture of nature”, one of the Foundation’s commitments.
What is the FAI?
The Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI) is the National Trust of Italy, born in 1975 from the strong desire to protect the beauty of our country, to protect special places, unique in the world, but also to give value to those enchanted spots too often forgotten.
Over the years the activities have changed. The Foundation not only takes care of its places, entrusted through bequests or donations, but it also takes care, for example, of inaccessible places opening them to the community, during the FAI Days.
Furthermore, the foundation reports citizens-most-loved places to the institutions and signs several agreements to guarantee all its members discounted admissions to many cultural realities, whether they are galleries, theatres, historic houses, museums, and so on.
FAI properties not to be missed on Lake Como
Villa del Balbianello
There are numerous FAI properties that are occasionally open to the public, in the splendid setting of Lake Como.
Among them, there is undoubtedly the enchanting Villa del Balbianello, located on a wooded promontory of Como lake. This elegant, romantic 18th-century mansion and its magnificent garden have hosted writers, scholars, and travelers, over the years including Count Guido Monzino, the last owner of the Villa.
Guido Monzino, entrepreneur, collector and avid traveler, takes the Villa over from Cardinal Durini, scholar and patron of the arts, in 1974.
Then, in 1988, he wanted the Foundation to manage the Villa rigorously, protecting its spirit.
Many Hollywood directors have set famous sagas here, such as those of Star Wars and 007.
The Villa can be reached on foot or by taxi boat from Lido di Lenno, only 9km far from our Hotel Loveno. It’s 38km from Como.
Villa Fogazzaro Roi
Another FAI property definitely not to be missed, when opening times allow you to visit it, is Villa Fogazzaro Roi, which is half an hour, by car, from our Hotel Loveno.
A secluded, intimate, 19th century upper-middle-class residence. The exquisite and still-intact furniture, paintings, and art objects evoke the atmosphere of the renowned novel by Antonio Fogazzaro, who so loved this villa facing out over an untouched corner of Lugano Lake.
In the 19th century, Antonio Fogazzaro spent most of his life in our territory. The novelist stayed for long periods in the villa, providing both the inspiration and setting for Little World of the Past, his most famous novel, published in 1896.
His successors left the villa to FAI’s care.
The villa is a delightful trip into a little bourgeois world of the late 19th century, set in an isolated outpost of Lombardy so beloved by artists, over the years.
A third FAI property, with a seafaring charm, is the Velarca.
Donated to FAI by Aldo and Maria Luisa Norsa in 2011, the Velarca is a boat house built in the late 1950s.
In 1958, the members of the Norsa family, already known among the Lombard salons, turned to the famous Milanese firm of BBPR (i.e. the architects Lodovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso, Gian Luigi Banfi, Enrico Peressutti and Ernesto Nathan Rogers) to create an original houseboat to be permanently moored in Ossuccio, on the western shore of Lake Como.
Ernesto Nathan Rogers will be responsible for the project. He exploited the hull of a historic transport boat to create the Velarca, the nautical response to the Velasca, the famous Milanese skyscraper designed by the same group of architects.
The result was a comfortable and modern home, made up not only of three cabins, a galley and bathrooms but also of a lounge-dining room, a studio and a small cloakroom too. In 2011, after 50 years of pleasant and floating holidays, the Norsa spouses wanted to donate the Velarca to the FAI which started the restoration of the boat currently underway.
Many unexpected itineraries for the FAI Spring Days 2023.
The FAI will publish on its institutional website all the places that it is possible to discover during the FAI Spring Days 2023.
In addition to the villas we have already mentioned, on Lake Como and its surroundings, there will certainly be itineraries in the villages for a nice tour around Lake Como, to discover lesser-known corners of the Italian landscape, where hidden and ancient traditions are handed down.
Lombardy has many magical places to discover and we, at the Hotel Loveno, will give you all the information you need to spend memorable days in our fascinating region.