Night of Museums in Rome

But Colosseum to remain closed

The nationwide Notte dei Musei returns on Saturday 17 May, involving the opening of museums, galleries, monuments and archaeological sites in Rome and throughout Italy, from 20.00 until as late as 02.00 in some cases.

However the country's most visited monument, the Colosseum, will remain closed as the five custodians required have not volunteered to work on the night. Italy's culture minister Dario Franceschini has appealed to the trade union representing the Colosseum employees to intervene but stresses that he cannot force the workers to volunteer.

This is the sixth year that Italy has participated in the event, however, unlike the 2013 edition, this year's event is not free. There is a "symbolic" ticket price of €1 for each state and municipal site but entry is free into embassies, academies, foreign cultural institutes, libraries, houses, cultural centres and theatres.

There will be around 420 sites open across Italy while among the many Rome venues participating are the Capitoline Museums, Centrale Montemartini, Trajan's Markets, the Ara Pacis, and the Scuderie del Quirinale. During the evening the permanent and temporary exhibitions are enlivened by concerts, theatrical and dance performances, readings, screenings, lectures, guided tours and workshops.

The capital's foreign institutions involved in the initiative include the French embassy in Piazza Farnese, the Brazilian embassy in Piazza Navona, the Spanish Academy on the Janiculum hill, and the Belgian Academy, Japanese Cultural Institute and Egyptian Academy in the Valle Giulia district.

The European-wide event has taken place annually since 2005 and last year’s event in Rome attracted 270,000 people.

For full details of the event, see the city website.