Night at the Vatican Museums!
By Deborah Castellano Lubov
The extraordinary 'night-time' openings of the Vatican Museums are back.
In a statement from the Musei Vaticani, the much-appreciated initiative is resuming this evening, and will last through the fall.
From 14 April to 28 October 2023, the Vatican Museums will extend their opening hours every Friday and Saturday until 10:30 pm, with the last entrance at 8:30 pm.
From 6 May, the closing time on Saturdays will instead be at 8 p.m., with the last entrance at 6 p.m.
A marvellous escape
The Vatican Museums by Night initiative stemmed from the desire to transform the museum spaces for a few hours into places where one can marvel, learn while having fun, listen to music, and discover beauty far from the frenzy of daily commitments and activities.
For those interested, a 'Happy Hour' is also served inside one of the most beautiful open spaces in the world, the Cortile della Pigna, which can be booked on the Museums' website where you can also find the complete programme of concerts and information on other proposals.
Please note that, for the evening openings, online booking is compulsory.
The evening appointments have become a much-appreciated tradition for those who wish to experience a visit immersed in the quiet and suggestive night atmosphere.
In past editions, data collected on public participation show that the initiative is particularly appreciated by young people and families.
A rich programme of music and concerts, organised with the collaboration of the Italian National Music Committee (CIDIM) and also aimed at showcasing the talent of young students from Italian conservatories, will accompany the evenings.
The setting for the first event this evening will be the splendid Braccio Nuovo corridor where, starting at 8 pm, the musical band of the Vatican Gendarmerie together with the national musical band of Italy's Guardia di Finanza will perform a programme of popular masterpieces.
Moonlit Vatican beauty
The concerts are included in the cost of the normal ticket.
"There is nothing more astonishing," reflects Barbara Jatta, Director of the Vatican Museums, "than to immerse oneself in the beauty of the Vatican collections illuminated by the moonlight that reflects the dome of St. Peter's Basilica."