From a Catholic News article at The Catholic Review: Churches in Spain experiment with staying open 24/7.
VALENCIA, Spain – In 2002, Carlo Ravasio trekked more than 2,000 miles from Moscow to Valencia, stopping by churches along the way to pray for the unity of Christians.
But when the Italian pilgrim arrived at the churches, he encountered a recurring problem: The doors were locked.
In response, Father Miguel Angel Vives, pastor of Nativity of Our Lady of Burjassot Parish in Valencia, decided that for one year his church would never close its doors. In 2004, more than 66,000 visitors came at all hours of the day.
Ravasio "found few churches open on his journey. Churches are always closed in Spain. So I decided to open them," Father Vives told Catholic News Service. [continue]
I was surprised in Spain to discover the churches had hours when they were closed after living in Italy where the churches were accessible 24/7, at least most of them, though some of the side chapels were closed from time to time, especially if there were some particularly valuable items in it and not enough sextons. As a result, Italian churches always had people coming and going and just sitting and visiting or praying and meditating. Home away from home.