The “Night of Raphael” at the New Palazzo Barberini

La fornarina by Raphael, Palazzo Barberini

After two years, the €5 million restorations at the Palazzo Barberini have finished. To celebrate, the museum is opening its doors to visitors for free on Sunday, September 19.

Called "La Notte di Raffaello" in honor of one of the collection's most famous paintings, Raphael's portrait of La Fornarina or "baker's daughter" (above), the inaugural event should include free guided tours to the public. The event begins at 6pm Sunday, September 19; the exhibit will also be open on Monday, September 20. (It's usually closed Mondays). If you go, particularly make sure to check out the newly-restored fresco by Pietro da Cortona on the ceiling of the Grand Salon.

As of late August, the Palazzo Barberini folks still weren't sure exactly what the opening hours or when the guided tours would be, since they said (apologetically) that work is still continuing on the building. So stay tuned. I'll keep updating this post here as I get more information.

Update, 9/13: The Palazzo Barberini will definitely be open from 6pm till midnight on Sunday, and the Grand Salon will be open. However, they're still unsure about tour times.

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