Free Museums, Fireworks and More for Italy’s 150th Anniversary

150th anniversary and notte tricolore in RomeDespite some reservations about whether Italy's ever really unified, Rome's going all-out to celebrate the reunification's 150th anniversary. From this Wednesday night through Thursday, events, concerts and lots of free museum entrances are all part of the package.

The festivities kick off on Wednesday night with "Notte Tricolore," a night of culture-focused fun. And there's a lot going on. Here's just a selection:

Free museums, open late: Among other sites, the Quirinale (with its temporary Lorenzo Lotto exhibition), Musei Capitolini, Castel Sant'Angelo, and Palazzo Barberini will all be open from 8pm to 2am — and free. (Yay!) And don't miss the Museo dell'Ara Pacis (also open 8pm-2am, also free), since the Ara Pacis will be "colored" using lasers to show you what it actually would have looked like back in the first century B.C. Usually, this is only done during the summertime

Light shows: Rome's ruins get prettied up with light shows — from 7pm, check out the Colosseum, Fori Imperiali, and Hadrian's Temple in Piazza di Pietra.

Dances: At 7pm, there's a dance show at Teatro Piccolo Eliseo (Via Nazionale 183) for €2. Polka and other genres will be part of the "Dance for Unity" in Palazzo Barberini at 8pm.

Concerts: Feelin' funky? Check out the Mo’ Better Band Funky Street Band — either at 8pm in Piazza dei Cinquecento, or at 11pm in Piazza Vittorio. Risorgimento songs are on the schedule at the Piazza del Quirinale concert, starting at 8:30pm. Chiesa Nuova hosts a sacred music concert, with pieces by Rossini, Verdi and Wagner, at 8:30pm, 9:30pm and 10:30pm.

Fireworks: At midnight, keep your eyes peeled — fireworks will take place over Celio.

Here's the complete Notte Tricolore program (in Italian).

Meanwhile, Thursday's a nationwide holiday.

Happy culture-vulturing!

 

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