Giornata FAI di Primavera

April 17, 2013 / Events
Orvieto, Umbria
Floor of Chiesa di S.BernardoSince 1992, the first weekend of spring is marked by Giornata FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano) Di Primavera (Day of Spring); a countrywide event during which provinces like Umbria open special sites and buildings normally closed to the public, free of charge.  Orvieto provided a bonus: tours conducted by students of the Liceo Artisto di Orvieto (Orvieto High School of the Arts).

“Sullen” and “disinterested” are words I often associate with the species roaming the earth in low-slung blue jeans, heavy makeup and dangling headphones to drown-out adults. Teenagers block doorways, smoke cigarettes and emit screeching sounds in the piazza near my apartment. However, this weekend this much-maligned group set the record straight.

Fresco of S.Bernardo
Fresco of S.Bernardo
Our tour began with a soft-spoken young man in dreadlocks and nose-piercings.  He thoughtfully recounted the life of San Bernardo as illustrated in the frescoes of La Chiesa di San Bernardo. Next we crossed the Piazza del Popolo to the Gran Hotel Reale, once Palazzo Bracci Testasecca, where two delightful studentesse escorted us to view the private collection of paintings by renowned artists.

Following a short walk, we visited the lush gardens of San Lodovico by a trio of knowledgeable young women and lastly, two energetic girls accompanied us through the Chiesa di Santa Maria Del Pianto and its outer loggia.

Being enlightened and informed about the historic interiors, facades and ancient frescoes of Italy’s former eras by intelligent and enthusiastic art students was an eye-opening experience.  These exceptional young people, individually and as a group, demonstrated the poise and confidence of future leaders, parents and responsible citizens. Giornata FAI Di Primavera not only gave us a glimpse into Italy’s artful and storied past, but unexpectedly into its bright and hopeful future.

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Murano Glass Chandelier
Murano Glass Chandelier
Il complesso della chiesa di Santa Maria Del Pianto
Il complesso della chiesa di Santa Maria Del Pianto
La Chiesa e il complesso di San Lodovico
La Chiesa e il complesso di San Lodovico
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Students from the Liceo Artisto di Orvieto
Students from the Liceo Artisto di Orvieto

Toni DeBella

by Toni DeBella

A Freelance writer and blogger at Orvieto or Bust, Toni recently packed everything she owns into two suitcases and headed to Orvieto, Italy.  She’s adjusted her tennis game to the clay courts and drinks way too many caffe lattes. 

12 Responses to “Giornata FAI di Primavera”

  1. Giuseppe Spano
    Giuseppe Spano

    It is pleasurable to see the giovane taking a responsible position, yet we must be aware of the plight of so many less fortunate in the crowded cities and countrysides. Despair and hopelessness is our responsibility to work at alleviating. Italy suffers!

    Reply
    • Toni DeBella

      Giuseppe, It’s true that all of Italy suffers but we must hope that the future will be brighter for these wonderful young men and women. toni

      Reply
  2. William Strangio

    Orvieto is one of my favorite places in Italy. One of the main sights are paintings by Luca Signorelli in the cathedral. He was
    painting muscular nudes 40 years before Michelangelo painted them
    on the Sistine ceiling.

    Reply
  3. Edward Bartolomeo

    It was a pleasure to read your posting. I too love Italy. I will live there soon I hope. The pics are great. I went there last year. AS the young people grow and become responsible adults it will be there’s to help improve the poverty of so many people. It has been a centuries old problem for such a rich country in its beautiful history. All of my grandparents came to the US for a better life. Ciao

    Reply
    • Toni DeBella

      Thanks Edward for writing. My grandparents came to the US from Italy too. It’s a strange we have to this beautiful and complex country. Keep me informed of your progress – I know what it takes to make the move. You’ll come full circle. toni

      Reply
  4. Patricia

    Thank you so much for your most interesting and informative article. As a frequent visitor to Italy, it is often frustrating during vacation research to read about many works of art and places of beauty that are no longer open to the public. I just visited FAI’s website – http://www.giornatafai.it – and read the list of sites that were open throughout Italy during this year’s Open Monuments Weekend. So many possibilities. Where does one start?

    Reply
    • Toni DeBella

      Lisa! I just love seeing you and your family enjoying your new life up north. I can see it in all of your happy, smiling, shining faces. xxo. toni

      Reply

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