Rome: 5 best October values

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Vatican by night

Make it a Friday night to remember with special discounted after-hours visits to the Vatican Museums. This month only, the admission price of €19 ($26)—already a steal compared to traditional after-hours guided tours upwards of €250—also includes music and poetry events, such as selections from Verdi's "Il Trovatore" on Oct. 29. Doors open from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., with the last entrance at 9:30 p.m, and performances between 8:30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. Advance online booking is required: biglietteriamusei.vatican.va

Dance, tall ships, and couscous

The RomaEuropa Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The internationally acclaimed festival has organized contemporary art, music, and dance performances throughout the Eternal City through Dec. 2. Catch acts like Dewey Dell, a hot new Italian dance company, whose choreography is inspired by the themes of navigation (Oct. 12-15) and Tunisia's Radhouane El Meddeb, who dances while preparing a big pot of aromatic couscous for the audience (Oct. 21 to 24). Tickets start as low as €13.20 ($18.20). For locations, times and tickets go to mioticket.it.

Drinks with live jazz

While away a Sunday evening at the Museo di Roma, where you can listen to jazz, peruse works of art from Italy's Reunification, and sip on prosecco, with Piazza Navona as a backdrop, for only €11 ($15). These Aperitivo ad Arte evenings will take place every Sunday until November 14. Entrance is located at Piazza Navona, 2. Aperitivo starts at 7 p.m. and guided tours of the museum start at 9 p.m. Tickets are on a first come, first serve basis.

Futuristic photography

Some of the most provocative images from the last five years are on view at Macro Testaccio, a 19th-century slaughterhouse converted into a museum. The International Photography Festival's theme for 2010 is "Futurspectives: Can photography predict the future?" The exhibit runs until Oct. 24 and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 4 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are €4.50 ($6.20). Piazza Orazio Giustiniani 4.

Da Vinci's great machines

The Palazzo della Cancelleria is currently hosting nearly 50 of Leonardo Da Vinci's full-scale machines, from the earliest representations of the robot to his first attempts at inventing the airplane. Visitors can even walk inside his two-ton armored tank. The exhibit Macchine di Leonardo will be on display until April 2011, open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are €9 ($12.40).

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