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Roman Holiday

Photography Brand X pictures/photolibrary

Through the end of the month, camera-toting tourists in Italy’s capital have the chance 
to take part in something usually reserved for the ghosts of slain gladiators: a nighttime stroll through the Colosseum. The after-hours tour will lead visitors through an exhibit on the Flavian dynasty, which erected the giant stone stadium almost 2,000 years ago. A couple blocks away, the Temple of Romulus is also providing a rare treat: It’s opening its doors. Usually closed to the public, the temple will allow visitors a peek at its eighth century frescoes. 060608.it

Good evening, Vietnam – As tensions rose in Saigon in 1959, sanctuary-seeking journalists flocked to the Caravelle Hotel to nervously sip cocktails at the rooftop bar. Fifty years later, Saigon is Ho Chi Minh City and its streets are considerably calmer, but the Caravelle remains. To celebrate its golden anniversary, the hotel is knocking half off the price of rooms booked online through the end of the month. It won’t bring rates back to those of the Kennedy era, but it’ll leave you with enough to grab a drink on the roof. caravellehotel.com

Toon time – When people hear the name Walt Disney, they’re more likely to think of mice, movies or amusement parks than the visionary who created those things. That may change once The Walt Disney Family Museum opens in San Francisco’s Presidio. Meant to lend insight into the iconic animator, the museum holds many of Disney’s early drawings and uses them to tell the story of a boy from Chicago who became one of the biggest names in show business—with the help of a large-eared rodent. disney.go.com

Free ride – There’s no excuse not to be cultured—not after September 26. 
 That’s when hundreds of museums across the country will fling open their doors for free as part of Smithsonian Museum Day. Your toughest decision won’t be whether to visit, but how many. smithsonianmag.com/museumday

Prix-view – Remember that racecar bed you had as a kid? You’d close your eyes and suddenly be rocketing down Monte Carlo streets at 220 miles per hour, leaving a hapless Mario Andretti in your dust. This month, you can experience some of that thrill again with Fullerton Hotel Singapore’s Grand Prix package. Guests will receive exclusive entry to the Fullerton’s trackside rooftop during the Singtel Singapore Grand Prix. There, they’ll have a bird’s-eye view of racers screaming around the hairpin Turn 13, all for the princely sum of $1,400 per night. Unfortunately, the beds don’t look like racecars here, but on the plus side, they’re much more relaxing. fullertonhotel.com

Calendar

September

10-13

SAN FRANCISCO // Watch yachts blow through the bay at the Rolex Big Boat Series, and be glad you’re on solid ground. regattanews.com

11-13

ISLE OF WIGHT // With a name like Bestival, this zany music fest is bound to be good. Perhaps even the best. bestival.net

12-13

LONDON // Celebrating bodies of water is always more fun than it sounds. Allow the Thames Festival to demonstrate. thamesfestival.org

15-20

LOUISVILLE // Learn the delicate art of a bourbon distillery or, you know, just sip some at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. kybourbonfestival.com

19-October 14

MUNICH // There’s more to Germany than lederhosen, like absolutely enormous pretzels. Never is that more clear than during Oktoberfest. oktoberfest.de

2-4

AUSTIN // Yes, the Austin City Limits Music Festival is named after the PBS series. And no, Jim Lehrer will not be there. Pearl Jam will. aclfestival.com

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