Christmas at FAI Heritage: magical places to get to for the holidays

Would you like to visit the FAI’s valuable assets over the Christmas holidays?

There is good news, the Italian Environmental Fund opens the doors of its priceless assets, inviting the public to immerse themselves in a unique journey through history, art and traditions.

From 1 December and throughout the holidays, the FAI’s assets are transformed into fairy-tale scenarios, decorated and brought to life with a series of special events, which promise to enchant adults and children alike.

The Christmas at FAI Heritage It is not only an opportunity to admire the architecture and natural beauty, but also to discover stories and histories that have spanned the ages.

Christmas at FAI assets

Benny Fay

Imagine walking into Avio Castle, where a Christmas market unfolds within the ancient walls of a medieval mansion.

Or, take a scribal writing class at the Abbey of Santa Maria di Cerrate in Lecce, where you can learn the art of writing an ancient-style greeting card.

These are just some of the experiences that FAI offers to experience the magic of Christmas. You can find all events and open spaces on the official website.

Concerts, Manger and Traditions

Each FAI property becomes a stage where ancient traditions are celebrated. From the a cappella music concert at Bosco di San Francesco in Assisi (PG) to the Christmas curiosities at the thousand-year-old Masino Castle in Caravino (TO), every event is a dive into the culture and customs of the past.

There is no shortage of artistic and traditional manger scenes, such as the rural one in the Kolympithra garden in the Valley of the Temples (AG), made with natural material features of the area.

Christmas at Avio Castle

Avio Castle

Spend the days waiting for Christmas immersed in the magical atmosphere of Avio Castle, a place where history and festivities come together to create a unique experience.

The castle Christmas market, one of the most evocative events in Trentino, awaits you on weekends from November 25 to December 17, 2023, including the public holiday of December 8, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with last entry at 5:30 p.m.

Avio Castle hosts an excellent Christmas market, the only one inside the walls of a medieval castle.

Thirty local exhibitors will enliven the rooms of the Baronial Palace and its outdoor courtyard, offering visitors the best of Trentino’s traditions: sweets, cured meats, local cheeses, wines, ciders, craft beers, honey, jams and handmade wood products, ceramics , wax and fabric.

The night of the manger at Villa del Balbianello

Villa del Balbianello
Villa del Balbianello

Villa del Balbianello is clothed in magic and tradition with “La Notte dei Presepi”, a special event that inaugurates the extraordinary exhibition of Nativity scenes created by the Italian Association of Friends of Nativity.

The exhibition, which opens on December 2 from 5pm to 8.30pm, promises to mesmerize visitors with the beauty and artistry of the manger, remaining open throughout the festive season.

The manger scenes, true masterpieces of manger art, will remain on display until January 7, 2024.

Christmas at Palazzina Appiani

Appiani building

This December, Palazzina Appiani, a true neoclassical jewel in the heart of the city, offers a unique and immersive Christmas experience.

In anticipation of the holiday, visitors can explore the rich history of this magnificent structure through special guided tours, enhanced by an exclusive tasting moment.

Matera Murgia Park on foot


Take an exclusive cultural excursion to the Murgia Materana Park. On December 9 and 30, 2023 Participants will have the opportunity to explore a fascinating environment that combines the ancient with the modern.


Experience the magic of Christmas in one of Italy’s most fascinating and historic locations: the Sassi of Matera.

This unique experience will lead you to discover Christmas traditions, including frescoes, Renaissance art nativity scenes and rock architecture that have inspired writers and artists throughout the ages.

The 9, 23 and 30 December 2023 you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the Christmas atmosphere by walking among the Sassi, a real natural scene of the Nativity scene.

Torba Monastery, Varese

Torba Monastery
Torba Monastery

This December, immerse yourself in one of the most exciting and enriching experiences: a guided tour of the noble oratory of S. Maria foris portas, Castelseprio, and the Torba Monastery.

This cultural journey, which takes place in a unique historical context, offers the opportunity to explore the origins and representations of ancient Christianity.

Available dates: Friday 8 and Saturday 9 December 2023 – Participants will have the opportunity to connect with history and spirituality through the art and stories that have shaped Christian traditions.

Christmas at Masino Castle

Masino Castle
Masino Castle

Masino Castle in Caravino offers a unique and exciting experience: a special journey through its rooms, beautifully decorated for the Christmas holidays.

This tour is an unforgettable opportunity to immerse yourself in the Christmas atmosphere, tracing the traditions of the Valperga family from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.

Available dates: 1,2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 December – On these selected days, Masino Castle is transformed into a real journey through time, offering visitors the opportunity to discover how Christmas was celebrated in past centuries.

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