Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Vatican Museums by Moonlight

The latest fashion in Rome is the realisation that people quite like visiting museums in the evening as well as the day. This has led to the opening of several museums as an experiment across the city including the Vatican Museums. Throughout October, the Capitoline Museums, the Ara Pacis, and the Centrale Montimartini Museums are open on Saturday evenings throughout October.

Visiting museums as night brings a new perspective to the buildings and the sculptures, as the subtle lighting and shadows highlight different features than you would notice during the daytime. Combined with the historic buildings that loom silently against the night sky, the centre of Rome feels more spiritual than during the day when the noise and traffic competes for attention with the monuments and churches.
Initiatives this year have also included the Night of the Museums where all the museums opened for free and staged special events such as a laser show at the Capitoline Museums and a classical concert in the Pantheon. Watching the choir sing in the Pantheon under the clear night sky, under the eye of the Dome, was an experience I will always treasure.

The city is planning more such events, with the Vatican looking to hold more evening events early next year, so watch this space for more details.

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