Italy celebrates World Museum Day with free night tickets

08:28, May 18, 2010      

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Thousands of citizens and tourists waited in rain and low temperatures Saturday night for free entrance to top cultural, historical and architectural sites in Italy, which was celebrating the World Museum Day with the widely welcomed Museum Night.

The event began in most locations at 10 p.m. and ran till 2 a.m. on Sunday. In Rome, streets were crowded with people lining up to visit the capital's most famous museums. With incredible patience and high enthusiasm, they waited in line for even an hour under dripping umbrellas.

It was indeed an exceptional Saturday night for tourists who happened to spend the weekend in Rome. It's also an opportunity for local residents to appreciate for free the artistic and cultural beauties of their hometown.

More than 80 Roman sites were available for the Museum Night with about 50,000 visitors queuing up already at 10 p.m. for the openings. According to a statement by the City Hall, roughly 200,000 visitors showed up for the night.

The most "wanted" locations turned out to be the Capitoline Museum and the Presidential Palace's Stable museums hosting an important exhibition on world-famous painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.

Concerts and performances were held at the ancient Roman forum built by Emperor Trajan and at the elegant shopping gallery close to the Spanish Steps, dedicated to famous Italian comic actor Alberto Sordi.
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