What Travelers Need to Know About Italy's Free Museum Weeks


You might have turned your nose up at the idea of going for an all-inclusive holiday in the past but it could be exactly what your family wants this year. Equally, perhaps you’ve always gone for an all-inclusive resort but your partner is desperate for more of an independent adventure? Chat to your traveling companions about what they want from the big summer trip this year. Read our package vs independent holiday debate here to help you decide.
a close up of a stone building with Uffizi Gallery in the background

In August, we reported on the end of an ultra-popular program that made all major museums in Italy—including the Vatican Museums and the Uffizi—free the first Sunday of each month. But never fear: Free museum days in Italy have not disappeared for good. This week (March5–10), the country began the first of its new free museum weeks, which will replace the free Sundays going forward. That means that travelers and locals alike can visit the Pitti Palace in Florence, the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, and even the ruins in Pompeii for free.

If you aren’t in Italy, like, right now, you’ll be able to get into the country’s most iconic museums without paying a dime all through the year. (Adult entry to Italy’s most popular museums usually ranges from $15 to $24.) The new plan includes 20 total free museum days, including this free week of visits, along with six additional free Sundays between October and March and eight days that each museum’s director can decide on individually.

If that seems a little hard to plan around, that’s kind of the point. In August when Italy’s culture minister announced the end to free Sundays, he said the strict schedule of more than 50 free museum days “had started to devalue (Italy’s) important cultural sites due to thousands of foreigners who show up.” The new plan is intended to spread those travelers out, so that lines aren’t overwhelmingly long every single Sunday, the Local reports. For travelers between the ages of 18 and 25, this system has a real perk: On days that aren’t free, you’ll be able to enter all state-run museums for just €2 ($2.30).

If you still want to plan around when your favorite or bucket-list Italian museum is offering free entry, you can use the country’s new site dedicated to the free days. You’ll need to enter each museum individually and it will show the free dates below. Need a guide of Rome and Florence’s best museums? Check out our city guides for a curated list.

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