Everybody welcome, Everything free

10/06 - 31/10/2010
Musei Capitolini,
Palazzo Nuovo

The exhibition, organized on the occasion of the celebration of 90 years of friendship between the Knights of Columbus and the city of Rome, traces through photographs, portraits, documents and newspaper articles, the history of the Catholic mutual aid society “Knights of Columbus”, which was founded on October 2 1881 by Father Michael J. McGivney.

Richly illustrated with pictures, texts and artifacts, the exhibit Everybody Welcome, Everything Free: Celebrating 90 years of Friendship Between the Knights of Columbus and the City of Rome takes visitors through nearly a century of a Catholic American organization’s friendship and dedicated service to the Eternal City. See fragments of the Allied bombs that fell on the Knights of Columbus’ San Lorenzo playground in 1943. Read the original letter from Pope Pius XII to U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt - carried by the Knights of Columbus’ representative in Rome - pleading that Rome be spared from Allied bombing. Discover how the Knights of Columbus built playgrounds throughout Rome amid economic turbulence in the 1920s, and kept them running to this day - even during a war in which the United States and Italy were adversaries. Learn how the Knights of Columbus was instrumental in early diplomacy between the United States and the Vatican, and how, at the organization’s 100th anniversary convention, the groundwork for official diplomatic relations was laid. See how some of the most important restoration work in Rome - including at St. Peter’s Basilica - was facilitated by the Knights, who also bring millions to Rome “virtually” through their support of television coverage of key papal Masses. Founded in 19th century America, amid intense sentiments against Catholics and immigrants, the Knights of Columbus continues to uphold its mission of defending those in need. “Everybody Welcome, Everything Free” was the motto of the Knights when they first came to Rome serving U.S. troops stationed in Italy and throughout Europe during the First World War. It was that initiative that so impressed Pope Benedict XV, that he invited the Knights to maintain a permanent presence in Rome, 90 years ago. That same spirit of service and generosity still marks the Catholic charitable organization today.


Musei Capitolini
, Palazzo Nuovo
Opening hours

Tuesday-Sunday: 9.00 am - 8.00 pm (last admission 7.00 pm)
Monday Closed

Entrance ticket

Museum + Exhibition ("Il bianco in tavola") Combined ticket: € 11,00 (adults) - € 9,00 (concessions)
Centrale Montemartini + Musei Capitolini: € 13,00 (adults) - € 11,00 (concessions)


+39 060608 (every day from 9.00 a.m to 9.00 p.m.)
The exhibition is included in the Capitoline Museums combined ticket.

Other information

Promoted by: Assessorato alle Politiche Culturali e della Comunicazione - Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali del Comune di Roma, Fondazione Cavalieri di Colombo

Web site
Zètema Progetto Cultura
Sponsored by


With technical contributions from

Banche Tesoriere del Comune di Roma: BNL, Banca di Roma, Monte dei Paschi di Siena; Il Gioco del Lotto; ATAC; Vodafone; La Repubblica


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