Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome
Tel: 39 06 80 242
Concierge.com's insider take:
Rome's huge performing arts center—a startling complex designed by superstar architect Renzo Piano—is the success story of recent years, shaking up the city's once-sleepy cultural scene. The three state-of-the-art concert halls, plus hyperactive bookshops, restaurants, bars, and outdoor performance area, are located about 15 minutes out of the city in a northern suburb. The venue is packed day and night with a variegated crowd drawn by a truly eclectic, democratic program ranging from the highest of highbrow classical through folk, jazz, world music, and electronic crossover. Rome's fledgling film festival (www.romacinemafest.org) fills the place to the point of bursting for ten days in the second half of October; a March math festival, with lectures by some of the world's leading number-crunchers, and a philosophy festival in May have also become unexpected annual hits. If nothing on the program grabs you, settle for a guided tour of the premises: Tour times change according to events but can be verified on the Auditorium Web site under "Activities." The popularity of events varies, but it's always best to buy tickets ahead of time.
Open daily 11 am to 8 pm.