Museum entry tickets are an important form of support for culture, and in Italy, you almost always have to pay to get into museums, although ticket fees are much lower than elsewhere in Europe. That said, sometimes it’s nice to visit a museum for free, for whatever reason. There is free entry to museums in Florence a few times a year; find out when they are with this list.
The first Sunday of each month is free museum day in all the state museums in Italy, as announced by minister Franceschini in 2014. In order to participate in this event you’ll need to know which museums are state run, versus run by the city (civic museums) or run by churches.
State museums in Florence are: Uffizi, Accademia, Bargello, Medici Chapels, Pitti Palace (all museums), San Marco (open every second Sunday), Palazzo Davanzati (open every second Sunday morning only), Medici Villas.
Note that while you can get in free on this day, lineups are usually very long!
La Domenica del Fiorentino = #Domenicalmuseo
Starting in 2015, the free monthly opening of Florentine civic museums for city residents (which was every second Sunday) moved to align itself with the state museum opening. So, Domenica al Museo also applies to city museums on the first Sunday of the month, for everyone (residents and tourists). That said, although the city has declared it free, some individual museums occasionally decide not to participate, so ask ahead (they tend to respond on Twitter) before going.
Civic museums in Florence are: Palazzo Vecchio, Museo del Novecento, Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria Novella, Museo Stefano Bardini.
February 18: Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici anniversary
Thanks to the decree of the last member of the Medici family, Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici, the city of Florence owns and enjoys the family’s artistic heritage. She wrote a document prohibiting its removal. This is celebrated every year on February 18 with the free opening of the civic museums in Florence (listed above).
Festa delle Donne March 8
March 8th is the Festa delle Donne – womens’ day. Most years, both the state (MiBact) and various cities’ civic museums confirm free entry into their museums for women only on this date. This is usually announced just before the occasion, in local newspapers.
Notte Bianca / Notte Blu (May)
Florence stays up late for the Notte Bianca every year, normally held on April 30 since May 1 is a holiday (and people can sleep in). On this night, civic museums (listed above) are open late (usually until midnight) and are free to enter.
The slightly less festive Notte Blu – the European festival of culture – takes place every year on the middle weekend of May, and also usually involves free museum openings in the night-time hours, as well as events (the 2015 edition was a rather small event focused around the Le Murate complex).
Free tickets to state museums for…
The government has recently reduced the free and discounted entries for senior citizens, but there are categories of visitors that can always get in free to Florentine and Italian state museums. You enter free if:
- You are under 18 (from anywhere in the world, not just the EU)
- You are a university professor or student of art, architecture or archaeology, with a letter in Italian or English valid for this calendar year
- Licensed tour guides in the EU, with valid ID
- Otherwise-abled EU citizens and their helpers
- Members of ICOM or ICOMOS with valid ID
- Registered Italian journalists with ID
- Reduced (not free) tickets available for EU students aged 18-25 (but not students from outside the EU)