Starting July 1, admission to national and local museums in Italy is being offered free only to students under 18 and teachers. Some museum hours have also been extended.
Starting next July, this free admission will apply to students under 18, teachers and a few other categories. Ages 18-25 will be offered admission at a discount.
This was decided by the Ministry of Culture in a new policy eliminating free admission for those over 65, both Italian and foreign. Free admission for this group is still available on the first Sunday of each month.
Additionally, some of the most popular archaeological sites such as the Colosseum and the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and museums such as the Uffizi in Florence, will now remain open until 10pm on Fridays.
Meanwhile, the popular “Night Museum”, providing admission until 10pm at the symbolic price of one euro, will be held twice a year.
These changes come after Minister of Culture, Enrico Franceschini, “resolved to eliminate free admission to museums for a certain number of visitors” when he discovered that discounted or free admissions benefited more than a third of the population, both local and foreign.
The official did not say how policy might change in cities like Venice, Rome and Florence, which offer discounts to local citizens who can provide proof of residence.