“I’m going to visit the Vatican Museums.”
“Oh, I see, free for dinner on Saturday then?”
“Nope, I’m afraid not, I’m going to the Colosseum!”
If someone declines your invitation for these reasons, they may be telling the truth! After the great success of the summer, Rome’s top monuments night openings were extended until October. Therefore these are the last days for your under-the-stars visits.
The Vatican Museums will be open on Fridays from 7pm to 11pm, last entrance at 9:30pm, until October 29. You’ll be able to see the Museum’s artworks, buildings and yards under a different light, there will be music and poetry shows and Saint Pious V’s Halls with Middle Age and Renaissance ceramics will be opened for the occasion. Booking required: www.musei-vaticani.va.
October 23 is the last Saturday for a moonlight visit of the Colosseum from 9 pm until midnight. Guided tours in English will be provided by archeologists. Booking required: +390639967700. Moreover, the Colosseum has two more suprises for you. Just a week ago, after 40 years, it opened its dungeons, where gladiators were locked waiting for their combats and lions and tigers were kept in cage before being transported by lifts up to the central fighting arena. The upper section of the third ring, also closed for decades, will be accessible to visitors who will marvel an unsurpassed view of Rome’s ancient forum. Both areas can only be visited with a guided tour.
Last but not the least, free night visits will be offered until the end of 2010 in most of the State-owned museums every last Tuesdays of the month from 7pm until 11pm. Just to mention some of my favorites: the Borghese Museum and Gallery, the newly renovated Ancient Art Gallery, Sant’Angelo’s Castle, and Villa d’Este and Villa Adriana in Tivoli. The complete list is available here in the “Lazio” section.