On Pause: Free Rome Museums and Monuments the First Sunday of the Month (Domenica al Museo)

Update March 2019: The first free Sunday in Rome has been momentarily paused through September 2019. All sites still have free days, but these are no longer grouped on the first Sunday of the month. Each museum selects its own 8 free days which you can search for on Io Vado al Museo.

This is following a late 2018 announcement by Italy’s new culture minister that Italy would cease to hold Domenica al Museo – free entrance to museums on the first Sunday on the month. (Though read on for museums that are always free in Rome).



ON PAUSE: The first Sunday of every month, cultural sites run by the state are totally free in Rome. That means that once a month, you have the chance to visit museums, galleries, archaeological sites and monuments without paying anything. (Though keep in mind that while the main sites or permanent collections are free, special exhibits might still require an entrance fee).

However there are several museums in Rome which are free every day:

Free Museums in Rome


Known as Domenica al Museo (Museum Sunday), the first Sunday is a wonderful time to visit some of Rome’s top attractions as well as an excuse to seek out lesser visited spots.

Want to take advantage? Here are all the free openings in Rome for the first Sunday of every month:

Free Rome Museums and Monuments the first Sunday of the Month (owned by the state):

The MAXXI offers free entrance to the permanent collection (Gallery 4) every Tuesday through Friday, and the first Sunday of the month.per tutti dal martedì al venerdì e ogni prima domenica del mese.

Free Rome City Museums

Every first Sunday of the month, Rome residents also have free entry to certain city museums. (You must show proof of residency to be able to enter without buying a ticket on this day). The free city museums include:

Domenica al Museo is a great time to get out in Rome to see some of these amazing museums for free (though don’t be shy about going all the other days of the month when the ticket price helps to support these great institutions).

Hoping to see the Vatican Museums for free? They are not a part of Domenica al Museo, but they are free the last Sunday of the month (instead of the first Sunday), up until 1 pm. Good luck. The line will be CRAZY!

Looking for more things to do on a budget? Here are 50 free things to do in Rome.


  • Reply dimitris November 18, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    can i ask you something about the free entrance very first sunday

    • Reply Natalie November 21, 2018 at 11:19 am


  • Reply Erica January 21, 2019 at 5:49 am

    Is there still free entrance on the first Sunday of the month?

    • Reply Natalie January 21, 2019 at 9:23 pm

      Yes, there is!

  • Reply Rita February 10, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Do I have to book to benefit from free entrance on first Sunday of the month, please?
    Thanks a lot for your help.

    • Reply Natalie February 10, 2019 at 12:26 pm

      Ciao! You have to book anything that normally requires a reservation like Galleria Borghese (you pay the booking fee but not the ticket price, in that case). Otherwise, just show up but be prepared to wait in line!

  • Reply Alex February 18, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Are skip-the-line tickets available on the first sunday of the month? (Coliseum, roman forum, etc.) Can you still use the Roma Pass advantages?

    • Reply Natalie February 19, 2019 at 1:31 pm

      Hi! You cannot get skip the line tickets on these days. Sorry about that! Best to go the Monday after

  • Reply Barbi February 20, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Hi! Is the first sunday of marc free? I haven’t read a word about that yet..

    • Reply Natalie February 20, 2019 at 1:45 pm

      Hi Barbi! If you check the top of the post – I added a line that explains the first Sunday of March 2019 is NOT free (this is an exception). Instead, everything will be free from 5-10 March as part of a special culture week

  • Reply Camilla May 1, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    Hi! Is the first Sunday of May going to be free? On some websites I read that it is only free for Italian citizens, but tourists still have to pay full price.

    • Reply Natalie May 4, 2019 at 9:13 pm

      It is currently suspended. You can check Io Vado al Museo for the specific free dates by site/museum.

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