Spring has arrived. Which is a question of dates, temperature and sunshine hours, but - in some parts of the world - also the awaking from cultural hibernation. The event calendar of Southern Tuscany has its lowest point in winter, but thank god we don't have to worry about that now. 

Siena panorama with cathedral
Siena: ready to wake up

In Siena the first spring weekend starts off with a classical concert at the Accademia Chigiana on Friday night. Former students at Siena's master classes the musicians of the trio Stauffer will present a world premiere of a work for strings by Italian composer Alessandro Solbiati.

  • MICAT IN VERTICE, ACCADEMIA CHIGIANA, 2012/2013Palazzo Chigi Saracini, 9pm Friday 22nd of March, 2013. The trio Stauffer will play Solbiati, Beethoven and MozartTICKETS: 8 to 25 Euro via the internet or from 8pm at the ticket office at Palazzo Chigi Saracini (Via di Città, 89). For more information and ticket reservation phone +39 333 93 855 43. 

On Saturday night Circolo Il Tubo (the wine bar and cultural outlet of Siena's famous restaurant le Logge) reopens its doors for the opening of the exhibition by Giulio Cassanelli, and for a night of foodie pleasures and theater (30€ per person, wines excluded).

  • IL TUBO, the recently opened bar and cultural venue had to change its approach (sadly less live music now) and is now daily open for wine tastings and small bites to eat from 1pm to 1am.

On Saturday and Sunday the FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano) celebrates its 21st annual spring day. FAI is Italy's largest organisation for the protection of the country's artistic legacy and natural heritage. Every spring 700 cultural and historic sites can be visited for free all through Italy. Most events are accompanied by guided tours organized by the students of the local high schools and universities. 

In Siena the FAI organizes guided tours to the Sant'Agostino church and the adjacent buildings (the ex-convitto nazionale Tolomei). 

  • Sant'Agostino church, Prato di Sant'Agostino, 1Opening times: Saturday 23rd of March: 10am - 4.15pm. Sunday 24th of March: 10.30am to 4.15pm. On Saturday guided visits are hold by the language students of Siena university. Visits in Chinese at: 10.15/10.45/11.15 and Bamileke (Camerun) at 11.15/11.30/11.45. I wonder how they're going to find visitors who understand Bamileke... but I'm truly impressed by the languages on offer at Siena University. The closest parking to the Sant'Agostino church is parcheggio il Campo

For more free guided visits this weekend in Tuscany look through the 2013 program on the FAI website

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