Free attractions in Italy on the first Sunday of each month?
Well, as we all know, Italy is a country with immeasurable historical and cultural heritage. Every centimeter of this land is rich in heritage from its ancestors and throughout the territory it is possible to find attractions from the most varied eras with the most varied appeals. Despite having a unique historical value, some people, from time to time, complain about the monetary value of some tickets. OK, OK, I agree! Some tickets really cost a lot of money, but it’s not just in Italy and, if we think about it, we will come to the conclusion that it is worth the investment. But here in this post you can save getting to know what are the free attractions in Italy on the first Sunday of each month. Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
It is good to know that Italy has a huge incentive to culture, both for residents and tourists, therefore, some monuments and historical sites, have free entry on the first Sunday of each month. Needless to say, they get crowded, especially with tourists, so get there early!
First of all, a clarification: the gratuity of museums has been under discussion at the Italian congress since 2018, when the new Minister of Cultural Goods and Activities of the Italian Republic, Antonio Bonisoli, took office. The matter caused many divergences, because to end the gratuity, for the Minister, would be ‘to value the historical heritage of the country’, however, there are those who defend the gratuity claiming that not everyone has financial resources to have access to culture and more expensive museums.
After much discussion it was decided, for the time being, that museums will have about 20 days free during 2020 and that each region can ‘choose’ the days of free access to museums (in addition to the first Sunday), archaeological parks, etc. That is, this gratuity is valid until at least until this European summer and Minister Bonisoli also added that gratuity is NOT MANDATORY and each city has the autonomy to offer or not the benefit and can choose the days to do so.
- Inquire before the visit when the museum has the gratuity day! Access the website of the chosen place or monument to visit, ask at the hotel front desk or ask for information at the tourist center, O.K.?! So you won’t be caught off guard;)
Well, that Italy brings together a ‘collection’ of enviable museums, everyone knows! One is more beautiful than the other and they all house pieces of priceless value! To go to Italy is to know that we are going to immerse ourselves in an impressive culture, full of history, legends and legacies, literally monumental. The initiative to offer free admission to museums came into effect in July 2014 and the rule is clear: every first Sunday of the month you do not pay admission to visit monuments, museums, galleries, archaeological excavations, parks and monumental gardens in the state ( there are some exceptions).
Cultural Growth of the Country
The initiative incorporates a tradition of French origin, aiming at the cultural growth of the country and giving the opportunity to the less fortunate, in addition to giving the people recognition of property rights over the State. The idea, in addition to being brilliant, substantially increased the visit to museums, especially on Sundays. With this in mind, of course, many tourists also take advantage of the benefit, and for Italians: the more visited, the better! They DIE with pride for all their magnificent historical heritage and with all reason, we have to recognize! Therefore, we have put together a list of the main museums that offer free access on the first Sunday of each month.
- As on the first Sunday of each month, museums, archaeological sites and other cultural attractions in the Italian State are free for everyone, needless to say that the places are CROWDED, isn’t it ?! So, first of all: if possible, book your ticket in advance! Some places do not offer the possibility to book tickets online, so you must arrive early to request ticket at the box office. Lines, on these days, are more normal than summer sun, so: get ready, okay ?!
- Read: How To Buy Tickets To The Main Monuments In Italy?
- Do not mistake the civic museums – which are owned by the city – for the museums of Foundations – which can be private – so they do not enter the cultural incentive program with an obligation of free admission! And it is worth remembering that free visits do not entitle you to a guided tour (or with an audio guide), if you want, it is necessary to ask separately and pay the amount at the box office.
- Also important: the museums presented here CAN CHANGE THEIR PROGRAMMING WITHOUT NOTICE! So I reinforce: access the website of the place to be visited and find out. There may be a change in the opening day, there may be a change in the opening hours (in case of force majeure, such as bad weather), in short: anything can happen. As accurate as the information given here is, if there is a change by the museum, unfortunately there is not much to do.
1) Free attractions in Italy on the first Sunday of each month? IN ROME
In the list of free attractions there are several important monuments in different cities. In Rome, for example, free entry on the first Sunday of each month includes: the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican Museum (in this case there is an exception, the Museum’s free entry is on the last Sunday of the month, always check on the website), Borghese Gallery and Castel Sant’Angelo (“Castle of the Holy Angel”).
Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill
Opens at 8:30 am, so get there at 7:00 am and get in line! No exaggeration, it is CROWDED! One more thing, there is a limit of 3,000 visitors at a time and there is no time limit for staying inside. The visit can take up to 2 hours: imagine being in the queue all this time … Terrible! It is not possible to book the ticket online for free days, but for information on all opening hours and, if you prefer to buy the ticket, click here!
- If you are not in the morning group, an option that can be very worthwhile is to try to enter at the last time (in summer it is at 6:15 pm, but the monument closes at 7:15 pm, so you may not have time to see everything with calm). The lines are much shorter and there are not that many people, although there is some movement!
Castel Sant’Angelo (“Castle of the Holy Angel”)
Another monument that gets crowded. But here it is necessary to book the ticket in advance, including for free Sunday, where there is a charge of 2 euros to make the reservation. You can make a reservation by clicking here!
Another super visited spot that is also full! Here the ticket reservation is only by phone (+39 06 32810). For timetable information, access here!
Baths of Caracalla
It is an impressive place. Important archaeological site, it is also full on the opening day free of charge. It is not possible to book the ticket online, only on site. For timetable information, access here!
It is also necessary to request tickets on site, as they ask for a document. To know more about schedules, access here!
The Vatican Museum is free on the last Sunday of the month. Also read our post about the Vatican Museum.
2) Free attractions in Italy on the first Sunday of each month? IN MILAN
In Milan, some of the places included in this list are the Sforzesco Castle, the Brera Pinacotheca and the Cenacolo Vinciano (the work of the Last Supper, by Leonardo Da Vinci) among many other attractions and so many other cities.
Sforzesco Castle Museum
As if it were not enough for the Castle to be beautiful, inside it there is a museum that impresses. Tip: the museum is also free on the first and second Tuesday of the month starting at 2 pm. Online booking is possible. For more information on times and reservations, access here!
Museum of the Risorgimento (Museum of the Resurgence)
It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in Italy. The works are incredible and definitely worth a visit! The reservation can only be made on site. For general information like opening hours and days, visit here!
One of the symbols of Milan has a charming collection! Don’t miss this attraction in Milan.
- Gratuity is not valid to specific exhibitions that may be taking place at the time of the visit, only to the ‘common’ areas of the museum, where the permanent exhibitions are located. It is not necessary to make an online reservation, just go to the ticket office on site. For more information, access here!
The Last Supper
It is perhaps one of the most difficult monuments to get access to free Sundays, as tickets run out faster than Usain Bolt! Hahaha, but if you organize yourself properly, you can do it, since booking online is mandatory. To book, access here!
3) Free attractions in Italy on the first Sunday of each month? IN FLORENCE
In Florence, for example, free admission on the first Sunday of each month includes: the Uffizi Gallery as well as many other important monuments.
Uffizi Gallery, Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens
Three of Florence’s most famous and important museums are on the list of free museums on the first Sunday of the month. In 2019 they were testing a new access method on Sundays with free access: they are distributing tickets with schedules, to avoid huge lines! It has been working and it is necessary to be there 15 minutes before the entrance time. Cool, right ?! It is necessary to show up at the box office and the ticket is PER PERSON, that is, only one for each person, so it is necessary to be present to get the ticket (it is not worth sending the friend to pick up and stay at the hotel, he will return with a ticket only hahahaha). For more information on schedules, access here!
Another must-see tour in Florence. You need to book online and pay 3 euros! For more information on schedules, access here! Guys, of course, in the cities there are several other museums, much less visited than those mentioned in this list but, if you do not insist on visiting those which are here, they can be a great option, because there are far fewer lines. In some museums it is very difficult to get a ticket, especially in high season, but for those who request booking in advance, it is worth trying before traveling.
- Some museums in Italy usually DO NOT WORK on Mondays! Always check the closing day of each monument directly on the website.
4) Free attractions in Italy on the first Sunday of each month? IN VENICE
In Venice, free entry to some attractions and others on the second Sunday, such as the Biblioteca Marciana.
Ca’ d’Oro Gallery
One of the most visited attractions in Venice. It is also crowded, so arrive early to ensure admission and avoid long lines. It is not possible to book online. For more information, access here!
One of the most beautiful tours in Venice. The reservation can also only be made in person. For more information, access here!
Marciana Library (Library of St Mark)
The Monumental Rooms are beautiful! Tip: on the SECOND Sunday of each month there is a free guided tour (in Italian)! Reservation is required! To book the ticket, access here!
The list is huge and fantastic! This incentive has considerably increased cultural visits across Italy. In addition, there are also ‘special’ incentives to celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day (Valentine’s Day worldwide, on February 14th, and March 8th, International Women’s Day. On February 14th, you buy a ticket and get the other; on March 8th, admission is free for all women.
The list is available at this link (in Italian) and belongs to the Italian government. To receive free entry, just show up at the box office on the first Sunday of each month. The queue is long, so, as I said before, check in early at the box office!
It should be noted that it is very important to make a list of the monuments that you will visit before traveling. Access the website beforehand to check if the monuments need a reservation, as is the case of the Borghese Gallery or da Vinci’s Cenacolo. Most of them require just going directly to the ticket office and enter, but there are always exceptions and some monuments only work with reservations. Therefore, it is always very important to access the chosen monument’s website first and check if there are any exceptions.
Out of Free Season
Now, if your trip does not coincide with the days of gratuities and you will have to buy tickets, I suggest you buy your tickets in advance to avoid lines. It is good to know that at the height of the European summer (between June and August), for example, even with the advance ticket in hand, it is very likely that you will find a line to be able to enter the place, but you certainly won’t have to face two lines: a line to buy the ticket and another one to enter, so it’s worth it! It is very important to read our Special Post How to buy tickets to the main monuments in Italy?
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Free attractions in Italy on the first Sunday of each month. Some people think tickets to some attractions in Italy are expensive, O.K.! In fact, some of them have a high price, but if you want to save a little, travel around the first Sunday of each month: most attractions are free! ; ) Have you already taken advantage of the first Sunday of the month in Italy? How was it? Tell us!
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