The FAI Spring Days between nature and culture: 64 extraordinary openings in Sicily today too


By John

The FAI Spring Days return to Sicily on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 Marchthe most important street event dedicated to the cultural and landscape heritage of our country: 64 openings across the region they will be open to visitors for free over the two days, thanks to the volunteers of the 9 Sicilian Delegations and the FAI Groups active in the various Sicilian territories.

Here are some of the most interesting openings in Sicily

In Palermo extraordinary opening of Villa Belmonte: built at the beginning of the nineteenth century in neoclassical style at the behest of Giuseppe Ventimiglia, prince of Belmonte, it has been declared a national monument since 1949. It occupies an area of ​​approximately 600 square meters and is spread over three floors. After the recovery and restoration desired by the Sicilian Region, since last month it has been the new headquarters of the Council of Administrative Justice. On the occasion of the FAI Spring Days, Villa Belmonte will exceptionally be open to the public for the first time.

In Messina it will be possible to enter Palazzo Piacentini, the Court, inaugurated in 1928, and observe the places where the magistrates exercise their functions. It will be possible to visit the Courts, appreciating the symbolism linked to the divine role of the law.

In Marsala it will be possible to exceptionally discover the various phases of the restoration, still underway, of the wreck of the cargo ship called Marausa 2, identified occasionally in July 2020, then recovered from July to September 2023, preserved in excellent conditions thanks to the silt and seagrass in the sandy seabed of the coast of western Sicily.

In Acireale the Palazzo Patanè – Pennisi di Santa Margherita with the ancient collection of gramophones (opening reserved for FAI members).

In Mazara del Vallo the Monumental Complex of the Monastery and Church of San Michele Arcangelo: it will be possible to appreciate the beauty of the dome and the belvedere loggia from unusual points of view, from inside the guesthouse which was opened during the last Jubilee Year 2000 and from the atrium of the monastery (for monastic use and therefore rarely accessible).

In Modica the Church of San Nicolò Inferiore (Place of the Heart, inaugurated in January 2023) and Palazzo Grimaldi.

In Castelvetrano the Church and Convent of the Capuchin Friars: the route includes the catacombs dating back to 1630 (reopened in 2014 after 400 years) which house the remains of Prince John III of Aragon and Tagliavia.

In Castelbuonoan enchanting medieval village in the Madonie, the Ventimiglia Castle with the Palatine Chapel entirely decorated in stucco on a pure gold background, the work of the Serpotta brothers.

To Carini the Church of San Vito, a place closed for several decades but of fundamental importance for the identity and historical memory of the Carina community.

In Bagheria the museum spaces of Villa Cattolica, the only noble residence (together with Villa Galletti San Cataldo) to have a “scirocco room”: located below ground level, it was used as a refreshment area to shelter from the heat of the sirocco wind.

In Agrigento The nineteenth-century Villa Genuardi, now the seat of the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, will be open to visitors, characterized by a magnificent garden, full of rare botanical specimens, commissioned by the lawyer Enrico Ragusa, who in 1875 took over the residence to transform it into one of the most prestigious hotels of Girgenti (this site is part of the European Itinerary of the FAI Spring Days, benefiting from European funds for the redevelopment – European Regional Development Fund).

In Trapani the itinerary “Art Nouveau: the art that blossoms” includes Villa Aula, privately owned and therefore not usually accessible to citizens.

In Syracuse the Sea Museum, custodian of the history and memory of the ancient maritime art of the city.

In Caltanissetta the sacred baroque itinerary will reveal the city's link with the noble Moncada family starting from the Chapel of Maria SS. Assunta, a precious seventeenth-century treasure chest, annexed to the ancient Capuchin convent, just reopened after years of restoration and consolidation.

In Enna an original urban trekking among the stone memories of the historic center and then Monte Prestami to Piazza Armerina.

In Catania the private residence Villa Modica with a Roman tomb, with a circular plan, well preserved within the garden.

In Bronte the site of the Duchy of Nelson with the Castle which displays some period relics belonging to the admiral.

In Giarre the secret rooms of Palazzo Di Prima, the current palace of Città di Giarre. During the spring days it will be possible to visit the rooms usually closed to the public, characterized by the presence of refined stuccoes and fine frescoes from the late nineteenth century.