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Open Doors at Palais Sternberg as part of Open House Wien​

Palais Sternberg, the seat of the Italian Cultural Institute in Vienna, opened its doors for two days, on 15 and 16 September, as part of the events for Open House Wien. The event, now at its fifth edition, has been promoted in several European cities, offering the possibility of visiting publicly and privately-owned buildings of great architectural interest that normally are not wholly or partially accessible to the public. This year, the palaces and residences opened in Vienna were around eighty but the many websites and portals advertising the event displayed precisely the photo of Palais Sternberg.

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Despite the restoration and restructuring work that it had to undergo, the Palais is still now considered to be a beautiful example of the Viennese suburban residences of the early 19th century. Built in 1821 by Karl Ehrmann for Philipp von Sternberg, it features a neoclassical façade overlooking a small cour d’honneur. Following the restauration work that was made necessary by the damage suffered during World War II, a new wing was added behind the building, which now hosts the classrooms for Italian language courses and a multifunctional hall with a capacity for 200 persons.

The more than 1,600 visitors that crowded the premises of the Institute during the two-day event were accompanied by three volunteer tour guides who ushered them through the different halls of the Palais, showing them the decorative elements, including the beautiful staircase with its wrought-iron banister. The tour included the Brown Room, whose wooden flooring was faithfully restored over the past summer.

The Grand Hall, which displayed an exhibition by ENIT, the Italian Government Tourist Board, that included large photographs of Italian landscapes, on the evening of Saturday, 15 September, also hosted a concert by the duo made up by Amedeo Cicchese (cello) and Barbara Panzarella (piano) for the cycle of concerts ‘Novecento da camera’ (‘The Novecento in Chamber’). The Institute’s halls were also enriched with numerous objects of Italian design.

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