Free entry to Italian state museums on first Sunday of every month!

We all like a freebie, right? Well how about free tickets to over 300 Italian state museums, gardens, monuments and archeological sites? Interested? Thought you might be!! Read on…….

Free entry at over 300 Italian state museums, archeological sites, gardens, monuments and galleries

Free admission at over 300 Italian state museums, archeological sites, gardens, monuments and galleries

Domenica al Museo free tickets

The government initiative called Domenica al museo, or Sunday at the Museum, has been running since July 2014 when the Italian Minister of Culture announced a range of new ideas to encourage people to take more of an interest in the arts.

Free entry to Italian state museums on the first Sunday of the month

Sunday at the museum – Free entry to Italian state museums on the first Sunday of every month!

Amongst the measures revealed by Minister Franceschini were that state art institutions would be free on the first Sunday of every month! That’s free! For everyone! Every month!! Not bad eh!

Domenica al museo

Domenica al museo – free entry to Italian state museums on the first Sunday of the month

The list of participating museums etc can be found on the Italian Ministry of Culture and Environment website. Unfortunately I’ve not yet found an English version but its reasonably easy to work out. Alternatively, make sure you have Google Translate or a good Italian-English dictionary on stand by!

Uffizi Gallery interior

The Uffizi Gallery, Florence, offers free entry on the first Sunday of every month

And trust me, there are some gems on the list including the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Coliseum in Rome and the Academia Gallery in Venice.

Free entry at the Colisseum

The legendary Colisseum in Rome opens its doors for free on the first Sunday

As you can imagine, however, some of the larger museums can get quite busy so some have an online reservations system while others use the old tried and tested first come, first in method. I’d advise you to check the particulars of your chosen venue before you go to make sure you don’t miss out!

It’s also worth mentioning that not every museum takes part. Private and civic museums are not part of the scheme although they have been invited to join in so it’s worth asking – you never know!

Italian art & cultural initiative - Night at the museum

Have a night at the museum for just one Euro!

Night at the Museum free tickets

The ministry initiative also announced two annual “Nights at the Museum” when venues will stay open late into the evening, or even through the night. Entrance is set at just a Euro so, again, it’s a great way to get people in through the turnstiles. Many museums such as Florence’s Uffizi Gallery have gone even further and are now operating more flexible, extended opening hours on a weekly basis every Friday evening till 10pm. More details of participating sites can be found on the Ministry of Culture and Environment’s website.

Extended Friday night opening at Italian museums

Friday at the Museum – Extended Friday night opening at Italian museums

Three more free museum entry schemes

And three more limited schemes have been launched in 2016 –

2 for 1 tickets on Valentine Day – more info here

Free Rome museum tickets for anyone holding RBS6Nations rugby tournament tickets on the weekends of home matches (in 2016 this was 12th, 13th & 14th February plus 26th, 27th & 28th February). Just take your ticket with you to the museum to claim your museum entry. For more info check out the Italian Rugby Federation’s website here

Free entry for women every year on International Women’s Day, March 8th here

Photography is now allowed in Italian museums

Another major change is that many museums now allow photography as long as you don’t use a flash. So the Doge’s Palace in Venice no longer reverberates to the shouts of “No foto!’ by palace wardens and we are all free to take photos from any angle of Michelangelo’s taught-torsoed Davide in Florence’s Accademia Gallery! Personally, this is a great step forward, as long as visitors don’t forget to actually look at the art as well as photographing their favourite pieces, although be aware that many museums and galleries have banned the selfie stick so always make sure you check before you click!

Selfie sticks are banned in Italian museums and galleries

Selfie sticks are increasingly banned at Italian museums and galleries

Don’t touch the artwork

Oh and by the way, whilst Minister Franceschini has removed some of the old barriers to our enjoyment of art, touching sculptures and artwork is still absolutely forbidden in most museums, as is leaving your mark in pen or graffiti so look with your eyes, not your fingers! It seems an obvious thing to say, but tourists have recently been caught carving their names into the Colisseum and have damaged a number of sculptures in their attempts to get photos etc – please be respectful or face the consequences! (The Colisseum vandals were fined €20,000!)

Tourists recently smashed the crown of this statue of Hercules in Cremona, Ital

Tourists recently smashed the crown of this statue of Hercules in Cremona, Italy

So as museums and monuments, galleries and gardens all across Italy prepare to throw open their doors for free all that’s left for us to do is check out which one(s) we’re going to visit! Italy not only tops the UNESCO world heritage site list but also has a long and complex history as a conqueror and leader in art circles so your choice is almost endless! Where will you be joining the celebration of art, archeology and all things horticultural? Leave me a note with your recommendations and reviews of your favourite museums or gardens! And next time you’re planning a trip or vacation to Italy, make sure to check the calendar and make a note in your diary for the first Sunday of the month – you could get to see Italy’s priceless art and archeology treasures for free!

Enjoying Italy's museums and art galleries for free on the first Sunday of every month

Enjoying Italy’s museums and art galleries for free on the first Sunday of every month

Useful information

Il Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali (The Ministry of Culture and Environment) official website links –

Sunday at the Museum website

Friday at the Museum website

Video in Italian https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-iphzJ6clI

20th JUNE 2015 – Art night in Venice http://www.veneziatoday.it/eventi/cultura/art-night-venezia-20-giugno-2015-programma.html

2016 dates for free admission courtesy of “Sunday at the Museum”

3rd January 2016
7th February
6th March
3rd April
1st May (Note : this is a national holiday – Labour Day – so this may be changed)
5th June
3rd July
7th August
4th September
2nd October
6th November
4th December

A Hole In My Shoe

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19 Responses to Free entry to Italian state museums on first Sunday of every month!

  1. lovetotrav says:

    Just another terrific reason to love Italy!

  2. Thanks for sharing this cool info! What a great incentive to get people to visit museums… Wish I were in Italia to take part!
    Buon weekend a te! 🙂

    • lizbert1 says:

      Next time eh, next time!! And I agree, its a great way to encourage families to bring more children to the museums and galleries around Italy and get them interested in art!! Passa una buona settimana cara! ;o)

  3. galanda23 says:

    Thanks for this useful information. Don’t you like it when museums give a free pass? I wish I were there to take advantage of it. Thanks for joining The Weekly Postcard blog link-up.

    • lizbert1 says:

      I love it – and its a great way to get people into some of the smaller museums and galleries to! Anything that breathes live into the arts gets my vote!! See you this weekend for more Weekly Postcard link ups!

  4. Cecelia Pierotti says:

    Can’t not go to the Accademia this time around eh? You in?

  5. Great post. Thank you. Italy is just the best.

  6. Pingback: 3 Things I Learned on a Recent Weekend Adventure (Free Museum First Sundays For-EVAH) | Roman Reboot

  7. masha says:

    hi, do you know if it is May 1, 2016 still or did they change it to May 8?

    thank you!

  8. Charalampos says:

    Ciao, any update for the first Sunday of May 2016? Is it 1st or 8th of May? Is the fast line for Colisseum running during free Sundays? Grazie!

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