On the night between 16 and 17 March Rome's museums and shops stay open late to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. Reminiscent of the Notte Bianca from former mayor Walter Veltroni's administration, present incumbent Gianni Alemanno has unveiled a series of initiatives including the staging of concerts and light projection shows on Rome's monuments.
The city has decided to make an exception by relaxing the rules governing the opening hours of Rome's shops on the night in question. Those in the retail trade can now stay open until midnight on 16 March and bars and restaurants until 04.00 on 17 March. Business owners are actively involved in the organisation of the event and are encouraged to get into the spirit of national pride by displaying Italian tricolours prominently over their premises. In addition the mayor has asked the residents of Rome to hang flags from their windows and balconies.
Plans are in place to hold live shows, concerts and theatre productions in streets and squares all over the centre of Rome, including Via XX Settembre, Via del Quirinale, Via Veneto, Piazza dei Cinquecento, Piazza Venezia, Piazza del Campidoglio, Via dei Fori Imperiali, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Via Arenula, Piazza Sonnino, Castel S. Angelo and Via del Corso. To finish the celebrations, a firework display is scheduled to take place on the Janiculum hill.