Tourists and residents not going to the beach this Ferragosto need not despair: they will have many options to keep themselves entertained, as museums, historic castles and archeological sites will remain open on August 15.
And because the holiday falls on a Friday, the museums will even be open late, until 9 pm, as determined by the changes implemented by Italy’s ministry of culture in July to bring state-run museums in line with the rest of Europe.
If you’re in Rome, there are two exhibitions to check out, both marking important anniversaries: one celebrates Michelangelo on the 450th anniversary of his death, “Michelangelo. Incontrare un artista universale” (Michelangelo. Meet a Universal Artist), at the Musei Capitolini; the other is dedicated to Roman emperor Augustus on the 2,000th anniversary of his death, “L’arte del Comando. L’eredità di Augusto” (The art of command. The legacy of Augustus) at the Ara Pacis.
In Florence, all major museums, including the Uffizi, the Accademia, Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens, Cappelle Medicee and the Bargello museum, will be open until 9 pm.
Besides museums, why not visit some castles, such as Castel del Monte in Puglia, a favorite summer destination; the 13th-century citadel built by Emperor Frederick II is a UNESCO World Heritage Site representing a "unique piece of medieval military architecture". Currently, it is hosting an exhibition by renowned contemporary sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro. In the north, head to Trieste to explore Castello Miramare, a majestic 19th-century fortress built for Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian in the mid-1800s overlooking the waters of the Gulf of Trieste.
And for a bit of archeology, head to Ostia Antica, outside Rome, where the exhibition "Francesco Messina: In Praise of Beauty" features beautiful sculptures amid the ruins.