Enjoy Martedi in Arte… Throughout 2011

Martedi in arte nighttime visits through 2011 to Italian museums

Martedi in Arte — that fantastic tradition where, on the last Tuesday of each month, major state museums in Italy are open and free from 7pm-11pm — is a hit. Such a hit, it's going on all year long.

Here in Rome, participating sites include the Palazzo Massimo (a savings of €10!), a treasure trove of ancient art and sculpture; the often-overlooked, but useful, Crypta Balbi; the Pantheon (always free, but only open so late for occasions like this one); the Palazzo Barberini, filled with gems by Raphael, Caravaggio and more; Castel Sant'Angelo, the papal castle; and the Galleria Borghese, that world-renowned collection of pieces by everyone from Bernini, Raphael, and others.

So mark your calendar: The next Martedi in Arte is May 31. But if you miss it, don't worry. You've got more shots… on June 28, July 26, August 30, September 27, October 25, November 29, and December 27. Phew!

Here's a list of museums across Italy participating in Martedi in Arte.

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One Night, 47 Concerts: November’s Musei in Musica

On Saturday, November 20, Rome — a city not particularly known for its live music scene — will host free concerts in no fewer than 47 museums and institutes city-wide. Don't miss it!

Some top choices:

Milonga (the Latin American predecessor to tango), played by the Orchestra Buenos Aires Cafè Quintet. They're livening up the Galleria Alberto Sordi (yes, that big neoclassical shopping gallery) at 11pm.

At the edgy MACRO Testaccio, folk music: Greek at 8pm, Estonian at 9pm, Norwegian at 10pm, and Italian at 11pm.

The Quartetto del Teatro dell'Opera, performing Puccini and Delibes, at the Corte di Cassazione at Piazza Cavour. The concerts are at 8m, 9pm and 10pm, and this one's expected to be so popular, reservation is obligatory (call 060608).

Hebrew music at the Jewish Synagogue, including "liturgical Hebrew music of an Italian rhythm" at 10:30pm.

For those looking for sounds of the American South, the New Orleans Jazz Quintet plays at the Accademia Belgica at 8pm, 9pm and 10pm.

There will be an Egyptian dance performance at the Museo dell'Ara Pacis at 8pm, 9pm and 10pm.

At the Castel Sant'Angelo, Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" by the renowned Orchestra Arcus Caelestis. (Reserve in advance for the concerts at 8pm, 9:30pm or 11pm by calling 3313946149).

Guitar concerts at the National Museum of Musical Instruments (pretty appropriate, no?), at 8:30pm, 10pm and 11:30pm.

For more information and listings, click here.

Don't forget about all of those other music and museum events going on this fall, too!

 

 

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China’s Terracotta Warriors Invade Rome

Terracotta warriors of Xian in the Curia, Roman forum, RomeIt's not every day that you see China's ancient, famous terracotta warriors from Xi'an in the also-ancient, also-famous Roman forum.

Now you can.

From now until January 9, 2011, Rome is hosting the exhibit "The Two Empires: the Eagle and the Dragon." Held in the Curia, or the ancient senate house in Rome's forum, the exhibit is the first to explicitly compare China's empire with Rome's.

But it's just a taste of what else Italy (and China) have planned.

The parallels between the countries' histories are certainly there. Both were extraordinarily sophisticated, militaristic empires. Both unified dozens of warring territories under the same political and economic systems. And both influenced all of history; just as modern-day Europe and the United States owe a great debt to the ancient Romans, so, too, do the modern-day Chinese owe the Qin and Han dynasties. (Those dynasties ruled China from the 3rd century B.C. to the 4th century A.D., a timeline that, too, parallels the height of the Roman empire).

And the artifacts that Rome's gotten ahold of for the exhibit are pretty fantastic. Most striking are, of course, the terracotta warriors, here on one of their rare trips away from Xi'an, China. More than 8,000 of them, each one different and detailed, were sculpted around 210 B.C. for Emperor Qinshihuang's tomb. Eight (plus a horse) are now in the Curia (pictured above). Seeing them in the same space as first-century Roman marble statues is striking — no less because of how much the two cultures shared in terms of their sophistication and technical skill alone.

Ancient Chinese sculpture in the Roman Curia, RomeWhile neat, the exhibit is far from thorough. It's just a teaser. And that's the whole idea. It's a preview of a bigger exhibit coming to Palazzo Venezia in November, which will boast 450 different Italian and Chinese pieces.

It also launches a long-term collaboration and cultural exchange with China, kicked off by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao's visit to Rome on October 7. That collaboration includes the participation of Italy's ministry of culture in China's new National Museum in Beijing, with a wing focused on Italian culture — and a reciprocal space for a state museum of Chinese culture in Palazzo Venezia.

So stay tuned. Update, Nov. 17: See my new blog post on the "Eagle and the Dragon" exhibit for information on the Palazzo Venezia show.

The exhibit at the Curia is open from 8:30am-6:30pm until October 24, from 8:30am-4:30pm afterward. Entrance is included in your forum/Colosseum/Palatine ticket. For more information (in Italian), click here

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Rome’s Best Fall Events, from Art to Aperitivo

Rome has so many exciting events coming up this autumn, I decided not to fit it all in one post. I will be updating this one, though (unlike my early-autumn events list), so bookmark this and check back. Last updated: November 11.

Lots of these events involve the extended, or free, openings of old favorites — so plan ahead to save a buck and miss the crowds.

September 21-25. Archeojazz, with a guided tour followed by a live jazz performance at the Mausoleo di Cecilia Metella.

September 25-26. European Heritage Days are here!

Until October 3. Oktoberfest in Rome, with music and lots of beers on tap from 6pm each night. Located on Via Appia here. (It's not in the center).

Until October 29. The Vatican museums open at night. And each Friday in October, they'll have live concerts, too.

Until October 28. The Villa Farnesina, usually open only weekdays from 9am-1pm, is open every Thursday evening, with free guided tours, from 7:30pm-10pm. 

November 17. Budapest Bar-Urban Gipsy concert at the Museo dell'Ara Pacis at 9:30pm. Reservations are required (call 060608), and the concert is free.

November 20. Musei in Musica, with free live concerts (and a couple of dance performances) in 47 different museums and institutes in Rome.

November 27. Jazz Noir at the Museo di Roma in Trastevere, a free performance of music and noir lit reading at 5pm (with your €5 ticket to the museum).

Until December 2. RomaEuropa Festival. The annual festival, now in its 25th year, boasts a series of music, dance and theater performances. Highlights this year include a production of "Orpheus" with hip-hop music and music by Monteverdi and Philip Glass, the British rock group "The Irrepressibles," and Laurie Anderson's "Delusion," a multimedia series of mystery plays that include violin, puppetry, and visuals.

Until December 28. On the last Tuesday of each month, some museums and sites in Rome, including the Borghese, Barberini and Baths of Diocletian, will be open from 7pm-11pm for free.

Until January 8. Each weekend except for the Christmas holidays, the Centrale Montemartini hosts its "Central Notes" concerts. The food and wine tasting, plus concert, costs €8. The showings are on Fridays at 8pm and Saturdays at 10pm.

Until January 9, 2011. "The Two Empires: The Eagle and the Dragon," an exhibit comparing the ancient Roman and Chinese empires, is on at the Roman curia and, after November, Palazzo Venezia.

Until February 6. "Vincent Van Gogh: Campagna senza tempo e città moderna," an exhibit of Van Gogh's works, will be on at the Vittoriano.

Until February 13. Lucas Cranach: The Other Renaissance, an exhibit of Cranach's work in the Borghese gallery.

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Night Tours of the Baths of Caracalla, in the Guardian

Baths of Caracalla at night After posting about the opportunity to take night tours of the Colosseum and the Baths of Caracalla, I took a night tour of the baths myself — and wrote about it for the Guardian newspaper. You can read my piece, which posted today, here.

And let me tell you, grabbing night photos of those ruins while following a tour guide around was not the easiest….I’m glad my forgiving editor decided that at least one of the snaps was up to snuff. Here are a couple more.Ancient ruins of the Baths of Caracalla at night. Baths of Caracalla, Rome, at night

 

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