Spanning across millennia, the history of Roman civilisation has left today’s Italy with hundreds of authentic monuments that attest to its glorious past. With the total of 51 cultural and natural monuments on the UNESCO World Heritage list, Italy is a central destination for exploring European heritage and delving into the mysteries of ancient artefacts and artworks. During the anual celebration of European Heritage Days, many of these valuable cultural resources are open to the public within a unique program that celebrates the common history of European nations.
This year, over 1000 events were organised to highlight the country’s most remarkable cultural and historic treasuries. Celebrating heritage and cultural diversity, the festival helped increase appreciation of the beautiful mosaic of European cultures, encourage tolerance beyond national borders and raise awareness of the richness and cultural diversity of the continent. These common goals brought thousands of visitors together during the last weekend in September and inspired them to actively participate in heritage promotion. By sharing their most memorable European Heritage Days moments on social media, visitors helped drive attention to the importance of protecting and enhancing cultural heritage.
Italy’s historic capital welcomed European Heritage Days visitors to some of its extraordinary cultural institutions that offered exciting programmes at lower prices. Among them, Museo di Storia Naturale Accademia dei Fisiocritici, Museo Napoleonico, Museum of the Ara Pacis as well as five Museums of the University of Rome were some of the spotlights during the weekend, driving thousands of visitors to their rich collections.
In Naples, Museo di Capodimonte joined the celebration with an exciting multi-dimensional programme to highlight different aspects of heritage. For those looking to explore the romantic 15th century, it provided an opportunity to travel back in time and experience the life at the court of Charles of Burbon.
In addition to this exciting time travel, Museo di Capodimonte gathered visitors for a Clean up the World event, which is the Italian edition of the largest voluntary environmental event in the world. Organised in collaboration with local authorities, the event saw a major success in inspiring citizens to help raise awareness of environmental issues.
The National Library of Naples also evoked an interest among local literary lovers providing them with an opportunity to explore almost two million printed copies and thousands of manuscripts, periodicals and incunabula kept at the library.
Those who prefer to spend time outsie and explore the nature could take a tour through Beigua Natural Regional Park, a fascinating natural landmark in the north-western Italy.
Judging by the impressive number of people who shared their experiences during European Heritage Days in Italy, this year’s event marked a significant success in encouraging citizens to explore the heritage around them. These results build upon the success of the last year’s festival, when 380,000 people joined the celebrations and put Italy’s cultural heritage at the heart of their activities.