Update August 2018: Italy’s new culture minister announced last week that Domenical al Museo – free entrance to museums on the first Sunday on the month, will end after summer. Take advantage of the cultural initiative while you can! This post will be updated as more information is available, but the current plan will be to allow museums to decide if they will offer free admission rather than making it a requirement.
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).
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):
- Colosseum and Roman Forum/ Palatine Hill (though this doesn’t include the Colosseum underground tour)
- Galleria Borghese (You must still book in advance and the ticket is free but must still pay the € 2 reservation fee)
- GNAM Galleria Nazionale Arte Moderna
- National Etruscan Museum on Villa Giulia
- HC Andersen Museum
- Museo M. Praz
- Museo Boncompagni Ludovisi per le Arti decorative e il Costume
- Museo nazionale Romano (Palazzo Massimo, Palazzo Altemps, Crypta Balbi, Terme di Diocleziano)
- Palazzo Barberini
- Palazzo Corsini
- Galleria Spada
- Museo nazionale di Palazzo Venezia
- Castel Sant’Angelo
- Museo nazionale d’Arte Orientale “G. Tucci”
- Museo nazionale Preistorico Etnografico “L. Pigorini”
- Museo nazionale delle Arti e Tradizioni Popolari
- Museo nazionale dell’Alto Medioevo
- Museo nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali
- Ostia Antica (which is a great day trip from Rome)
- Museo Ostiense
- Mausoleo di Cecilia Metella
- Baths of Caracalla
- Villa dei Quintili
- Villa Adriana in Tivoli
- Villa d’Este in Tivoli
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.