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What you need to know about Italy’s free museum Sundays

The Local Italy
The Local Italy - [email protected] • 6 May, 2023 Updated Sat 6 May 2023 08:14 CEST
What you need to know about Italy’s free museum Sundays
The Galleria dell'Accademia in central Florence is home to the original 16th century statue of David by Michelangelo Buonarroti. Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP

Want to see the Colosseum or Michelangelo’s David for free? You can on Italy’s free museum Sundays.


People across Italy will once again be able to visit museums for free on Sunday, June 4th under the nationwide Domenica al Museo or ‘free museum Sundays’ scheme allowing ticketless entry on the first Sunday of every month.

First introduced in 2014, the offer was suspended during the coronavirus pandemic amid concerns about crowding but reinstated in April 2022.

As tickets for major historical sites and museums in Italy often cost upwards of €15 per person, there are big savings to be made and the free Sundays scheme is understandably popular among both tourists and residents.

The remaining dates for 2023 are:

June 4th, July 2nd, August 6th, September 3rd, October 1st, November 5th, and December 3rd.

Where can I go?

The scheme applies to hundreds of state-run museums, archaeological parks and monuments, including world-famous sites like the Colosseum, Pompeii, Florence's Galleria dell'Accademia, the Reggia di Caserta and Trieste's Miramare Castle.

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Tourist visiting Colosseum in Rome

Rome's Colosseum is just one of the many world-famous sites Italy's 'Domenica al museo' scheme applies to. Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP

The offer does not apply to sites that are run by local authorities rather than the state, though many cities run similar initiatives of their own.

How do I book a free ticket?

In many cases you don’t need to and can simply turn up and walk in.


However, some venues such as Rome’s Galleria Borghese require advance booking, so it’s always wise to find the attraction’s website and check the rules before you go.

Will museums be crowded?

This really depends on where and when you go. Italy's most famous attractions always draw huge crowds in spring - free entrance or otherwise - while lesser-known spots or those outside the major tourist areas will probably be less chaotic. But don't bank on it, as these dates are popular with Italians too.

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Some sites capped visitor numbers when the scheme was initially reinstated in spring 2022, but it’s unclear how many still do this.

What else should I know?

You can find a full list of the sites included and links to further information for each on the Italian culture ministry’s website.


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