FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano, usually referred to in English as the Italian National Trust) is a non-profit trust that was founded on 28 April 1975 in order to contribute to the protection, conservation and enhancement of Italy's artistic legacy, natural heritage and landscape. FAI came about as the result of a concept proposed by Elena Croce – daughter of the great philosopher Benedetto Croce – who wanted to see an Italian equivalent to the National Trust in England.
On 28 April 1975, FAI's constitution and statute were signed
by Giulia Maria Mozzoni Crespi, Renato
Bazzoni, Alberto Predieri
and Franco Russoli, who were filled with enthusiasm
and ambition for their long-cherished
dream. After more than thirty-five years, that dream has
been transformed into reality, thanks to
the commitment of all those who have decided to take part in this
wide-ranging project, and to the generosity of those great many private
individuals, companies and institutions that have supported our work in
the past and continue to support it to this day.
It really does seem like yesterday when, way back in 1976, FAI received its first donation, from lawyer Piero di Blasi: a thousand square metres in Panarea, in the Aeolian archipelago. Fast-forward thirty-plus years to our latest acquisitions: the Woodland of San Francesco in Assisi, the Olivetti Showroom in Piazza San Marco in Venice and Villa Fogazzaro Roi in Oria di Valsolda (in the province of Como). In the intervening years, FAI has acquired assets very frequently, so much so that today we control 48 heritage sites, 25 of which are open to the public. Thanks to FAI, these wonderful jewels now belong once again to Italy and to all of us.
Here is an overview of what FAI has achieved since its establishment in 1975:
· 40,000 m2 of historic
· more than €73,000,000 raised and invested in restoration projects
· 5,283,000 m2 of landscape protected
· 5,700,000 visitors to our properties
· 26,000 antique books and 16,000 objets d'art catalogued and protected
· 3,500 m2 of frescos restored
· 7,000 sites open to the public and utilised on FAI's Spring Days, which are attended by more than 7,000,000 visitors, with 130,000 students involved as apprentice tour guides
· more than 1,000,000 students made aware of the importance of protecting Italy's artistic legacy and natural heritage
· more than 1,800,000 recommendations of Italian sites to be safeguarded, protected or highlighted have been compiled since 2003 through the “Italian Places I Love” national survey
· 23 sites, scattered all across Italy, have benefitted from FAI's direct intervention thanks to the "Italian Places I Love" survey
· 90,000 FAI members and active donors
· 116 delegations across 20 Italian regions, with more than 7,000 volunteers throughout Italy
· more than 500 corporate sponsors contributing funds every year.