Last week the Director of the Department at the University came in and asked Michael if we would like tickets to the opening of a new art gallery. There were actually 3 venues for the evening, with the first being at the Palazzo Barberini which happened to be about 100 yards from our apartment. Michael said “yes” and was handed two large envelopes each bearing beautiful invitations to attend the opening.
SO, we dressed up in our finest and walked down the street to the Palazzo. As we walked, I said “wow….there seem to be a lot of people there”. As we approached the gate we realized that comment was a HUGE understatement. There were hundreds…..even thousands of people standing at the fence, crowding the sidewalks and standing in the street……
We thought….”OK…if all of these people have been invited as well, then maybe this isn’t such a big deal to be invited to.” As we walked toward the crowd and the gate, a guard saw our tickets and ushered us straight thru the gate. We felt REALLY important!!!!
When we arrived in the courtyard there was another line of people and we dutifully joined at the end. After a few minutes, we realized that some people were skipping the line and going straight into the building so we flashed our tickets and once again were ushered into the building. The guard actually said….”You are late!”…..what did we know!!!!
When we got into the building we were able to observe beautiful art by the most famous of Italy’s painters and sculptors. The show piece was by Raffello Sanzio and was called “La Fornaria”…..
It was displayed in a HUGE room and was the only piece in the room.
We saw people in suits in another room drinking champagne and we figure that we were supposed to be there, but didn’t know exactly how to get there and didn’t have ANY instructions in English, so we simply enjoyed the art.
As we were leaving the gallery, there were dancers performing in the courtyard….
So, after we returned to the apartment, we decided to do some research and see if we could find out EXACTLY what we just attended. We found out that tonight is “La Notte Bianca a Roma” or “White Night” in Rome. On this night, all of the attractions and museums are open until dawn, with concerts and events happening in many of the piazzas.
Unfortunately, Michael is still sick with his cold and has to give one of his seminars in the morning, so we are going to skip the festivities, but we will never forget our night of being treated like Italian royalty.