Opening hours have been extended, new free days announced and ticket prices changed for state museums in light of a recent legislative change, with the immediate effect of later hours at some of Florence’s most important museums. In addition, some “exceptional” evening openings have been announced. State museums in Florence (those run by the central Italian government rather than by the city or another entity) fall under the umbrella of the Polo Museale Fiorentino and include the Uffizi, Accademia, Bargello and Medici Chapels. The welcome changes help spread visitors out over a longer period of time, creating some opportunities to see artworks in a less crowded setting.
The changes that have been announced have come over the period of approximately one month, and as a frequent museum goer, I felt the need to get the information straight and gathered all in one place.
Ticket prices have been changed to align them with the rest of the EU, and in light of the fact that more than one third of all state museum entries in Italy recently are free. This emphasis on free entry, to categories that are believed to be able to afford a ticket such as retired tourists, has harmed the already financially crippled structure. The new changes are summarized clearly as follows.
- There will be Free entry to all state museums in Italy on the first Sunday of every month, for everyone. This legally imposed monthly freebie is less subject to change than the previous “exceptional openings” that would be announced from year to year based on budget.
- Entry will be free only to those under 18 years of age (regardless of nationality, with ID). Discounts for those aged 18-25.
- Free entry to those over 65 has been canceled. Seniors must pay entry.
- The “Notti al museo” (Night at the museum) event will take place twice a year and incur an entry fee of one euro. This event has taken place once or twice a year in the past, but was subject to budget confirmation or other annual decisions that rendered it unpredictable.
- Late openings in all state major museums and archaeological sites in Italy on Friday nights, until 10pm.
Summer 2014 Florence museum openings
Ten opportunities per month to enjoy the large museums later, at the regular ticket price.
- *Tuesday nights at the Uffizi and Accademia. From July 1 to Sept 30, 2014, as has been taking place since 2006, on Tuesdays these two museums will be open until 10pm.
- *Starting in July 2014 in line with the new law, the Uffizi, Accademia, Bargello and Medici chapels are now open late on Fridays. The new hours are 9am to 9pm.
Sources: The changes cited are part of the ArtBonus law passed in June 2014, information from the ministry’s website (June 19). Florence museum openings via press releases received from the Polo Museale Fiorentino. All laws and opening hours ares subject to change without notice.