The second annual "Notte Bianca", when Rome stays awake all night, will be held this year between Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 September. The initiative is jointly run by the city council, Rome's chamber of commerce and the heritage ministry. Over 300 events spreading from the historic centre to EUR have been planned, with a marked increase of activity in the suburbs compared to last year.

The start of the event will be marked by a concert in Piazza del Campidoglio on Saturday evening at 20.00, along with a presentation of the Italian Olympic athletes, and will close with jazz on the Pinco in Villa Borghese at 6.00 on Sunday. Libraries, churches, art galleries, museums and theatres will be open throughout the night and will host an array of musical and cultural events. Outdoor spaces will also be used such as Piazza di Spagna for a preview of the Cirque du Soleil's show Saltimbanco and Piazza della Cancelleria for an agricultural market with lessons in Roman cuisine. Shops and restaurants will remain open with Gambero Rosso, Italy's answer to the Michelin guide, dedicating the whole night to pasta, pizza and desserts at the "Citt del Gusto" in Ostiense.

Palazzo Farnese will also be open on Sunday between 06.00-13.00. This is to mark the allegiance with Paris, which will have host their "Nuit Blanche" on Saturday 2 October.

A 1 ticket will allow unlimited travel on public transport between 22.00-06.00. Entry to most events is free but is worth checking; booking may also be required.

Last year the occasion was marred by the nation-wide electricity blackout which stranded happy participants a long way from home in the early hours of the morning.

For more information see, www.lanottebianca.it.