The Eternal Night

Beneath the canopy of clear azure skies, lies a breathtaking wonder, an open-air museum known to most as the Eternal City, one of the most ancient surviving cities in history. Slowly, as the blazing sun takes its final bow, the stage is set for the grand finale. Twilight cues the magical pageantry and you hear its first notes as it converts the chaotic traffic of the day into a symphonic murmur. The audience of astonished tourists, crazed taxi drivers and the cacophony of romani that had filled each crevice and had blocked the monuments from their splendor, are now hushed and settled away.

A silent poetry, darkness, envelopes the città eterna. A strange and ineffable moment arrives with the first shadows of evening. A sense of loneliness reverberates among the statues that melancholically gaze upon the visitors as they slowly depart. The piazzas, which were abundant with groups of travelers and, therefore, vendors and gypsies during the daylight hours, hollow out to bare their souls to the few who stroll by at night. This surreal dream is felt throughout the winding labyrinth of streets, along the Tiber River and most dramatically at Rome’s most famous backdrops.

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Blanketed by the midnight blue of darkness and highlighted by Rome’s famous golden moon, the most captivating aspect occurs. For centuries, Rome slept deep in a somber dream at nightfall, hiding its wonders from view. It was awakened by modern technology and a corps of experts. A feat choreographed by one of Rome’s not-so-distant administrations who valued and foresaw the allure of Rome, illuminated.

Rome, unveiled at night, the grand finale commences. Just as the ancient masters perfected their masterpieces, light was the final brush stroke needed to set off the monuments upon the canvas of darkness, creating a chiaroscuro effect. This is the most evocative moment to admire the extraordinary beauty of this eternal city.

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In a cat and mouse game of shadow and lights, the viewer is left hypnotized in an instant. As you gaze upon the marble and stone ablaze, you are left stunned…the first time…the hundredth time…every time. The irresistible silhouette of Terme di Caracalla, the Forum, the Basilica of Maxentius and the Coliseum, come alive in all of their glowing magnitude. Inspired by the overwhelming beauty, passersby sing that old refrain…oh bella Roma accompanied by the musical undertones of cascading water from the incandescent fountains.

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World famous directors and photographers have studied Rome’s illuminated scenery in depth. They have noted the captivating enchantment felt in the presence of the radiant marble statues and ruins.

Eternity…is echoed in the darkness when in the company of the luminous Pantheon or Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli. Darkness falls. The eternal city becomes timeless as all traces of centuries past extinguish and fade with the setting of the sun. It is now, as it was then, as it will be in the tomorrows yet to come.

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Draped in the sheer veil of night, beside the ancient Rome of Caesars, lies that of princes and popes. St. Peter’s dome is aflame like a giant resplendent diamond glistening in the midnight sky. Gaze upon it, center stage, from the Bridge of Angels. Peek at it through the tiny keyhole in the grandiose door that leads to the gardens of Malta, and bear witness to the presences of three countries at once. Fool your eyes on a distant tree-lined street. Venture toward it as it surprisingly diminishes in size. Withdraw away and watch St. Peter’s dome miraculously abound.

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Nestled in a fairytale ambiance, Castel Sant’Angelo lingers. Let the angels lead you to this magical destination. We are all free to view the Rome of our choosing. Abandon yourself to the enchanted allure of Rome, illuminated. Set within the fated river that witnessed the birth of S.P.Q.R. is Isola Tiberina. Upon this island, lovers swoon under the enormous moon of gold that hovers so low that you fear it might kiss you itself.

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Encompassed by imperial villas, Circus Maximus permeates the observer with solemness. The bewildering light effects have astonished architects and art experts from all around. The majestic Coliseum provides perhaps the most intense and significant sensations that remain engraved forever on one’s soul. The seductive symbol created in memory of Emperor Urbe, bewitches you with its magnetism and splendor.

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Explore. Discover. Lose yourself. Fall under its spell and let the stars conduct you, as they have throughout the centuries and as they will in history to come.

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