January 27, 2012

Free Admission to Rome Museums - Culture Week 2012

The city of Rome can certainly be called the cradle of the European history and culture. One of the oldest and most-visited cities in the world, the Eternal City is simply stuffed with numerous architectural and cultural monuments, museums, ancient churches, and other things that are certainly worth seeing. Roman Forum, Palatine, Colosseum, Vatican museums, to name the few, and many many more. However, visiting all Roman museums maybe too much expensive for budget travellers. For example, the full admission ticket to Vatican museums currently costs 15 EUR. But if you're lucky enough to be in Rome during the annual Culture Week in Italy (Settimana della Cultura), you can save dozens of Euros on visits to all state-run (and most city-run) museums and archaeological sites.

This year (2012) the Culture Week will be held for the 14th time. During this week, all the city and state-run museums of Rome offer free entrance, museums and galleries that are normally closed open their doors to the general public and many special events, exhibitions and concerts are organized throughout the city. Usually the free museum week in Rome takes place right after the Easter weekend, and this year is no exception: Easter Sunday falls on April 8th and the Culture Week will start the weekend after, on April 14th and will run through Sunday, April 22, 2012. The Colosseo, Forum, Palatine Hill, Vatican Museums, etc. will all be absolutely free. Anyway at some sites, like the Colosseo, you still have to wait in line to get your free ticket to go through the turnstile. Mind, that if you want to visit Vatican Museums during this week, you'll have to wake up very early, as queues can be rather huge. Also you should take into account that the Planetarium "and a few others" will not offer free admission during this week.

I was in Rome during the 12th Culture Week in 2010. In two days, I visited for free all top paces on the to-see list of many tourists: the Colosseum, Forum, Palatine Hill, Saint Peter's Basilica and Vatican Museums. 

Below are some photos of the most popular Roman places of interest. 

Queues at Vatican Museums:
 St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican

 St. Peter's Basilica inside
 View from St.Angelo Castle
 Bridge of Angels

 The Roman Forum
  Inside of Vatican Museums

 Fontana de Trevi
 Crowds at the Fountain
 Mime :)
 Piazza di Spagna
Charming Rome by night
 Piazza di Navona


  1. Um, Vatican Museums are NEVER free during Cultural Week because it's NOT in Italy.

    In 2012 Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are NOT included in the free entry for Cultural Week,

  2. Sorry, but it is a total nonsense! Were you personally there at this time? Maybe something has changed now, but in 2010 I PERSONALLY was in Rome during the Cultural Week, and Vatican museums were TOTALLY FREE OF CHARGE. As well as Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. I am a budget traveller, so otherwise I would never spend so much money on museums.

  3. I am afraid it is real. Official Italian government site are saying that Forum and Colosseum site NOT free this year to help pay for the resoration costs ( first year not free ). And, Vatican is charging. I just paid for tickets online.

  4. YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR THE VATICAN...Checked this morning...as well as the foro romano...

  5. I live in Roma and you might have paid for a tour, not just the admission cost which would have been free