XIV Culture Week in Italy, April 14 – April 22

The Settimana della Cultura (Culture Week), now in its fourteenth edition, will begin on Saturday, April 14 and will run through Sunday, April 22, 2012. For these nine days, monuments, museums, archaeological sites, archives, and libraries owned and operated by the State will be open FREE to the public.

In addition, there will be special events and opportunities to visit some sites rarely open to the public.More than 3,000 events all across Italy are available for everyone: exhibitions, conferences, special openings, workshops, guided tours and concerts that will make it even more of a special experience for all visitors.

In Lazio, the region Rome is in, there were 350+ “events” scheduled during Culture Week last year – so there will be plenty to do all over Italy! Please note that the Vatican, which is a separate country, DOES NOT participate in the Italian Culture Week – so you’ll still have to pay to go into the Vatican Museums. In addition, there are a few privately owned museums that also do not participate in this State-sponsored event.

UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE: Just announced – As per the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, the COLISEUM, PALATINE HILL and the ROMAN FORUM will not join in the Culture Week 2012 celebrations. Most other State-run museums will participate. This is the first time in the fourteen years of this event that the Colosseo combo has not been a part of the Culture Week celebrations. Despite the crush of tourists, lines are not too bad at most sites. At some locations, you still have to have a ticket to go through the turnstile, so you may have to wait in line… to get your free ticket.

The Ministry for Culture and Environment (MiBAC) sponsors La Settimana della Cultura. You can get more info at the website of Il Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali. As the Culture Week nears, MiBAC will update their website with a complete list of events. When you visit the website, you can look at the scheduled events by Region… so no matter where you are headed in Italy, there will be cultural events happening these 10 days. The website has little information currently but will be updated as the Settimana della Cultura approaches.

Culture Week: April 14, 2012 through April 22, 2012.

Header: ITA Roma Foro di Traiano Panorama – Photo by KWO Tsoumenis


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32 Responses to XIV Culture Week in Italy, April 14 – April 22

  1. Ron in Rome says:

    Yes, I’ve been in the Academia Galleria (FREE) during the Culture Week. And from what I’ve read, the Uffizi is also free!

  2. Vaso says:

    dear Ron,

    If I am correct, in this http://www.beniculturali.it/mibac/opencms/MiBAC/sito-MiBAC/MenuPrincipale/LuoghiDellaCultura/Musei-in-evidenza/index.html?pagename=&id=557&special=&categoriaComunicato=&mycategory=&tipologia=&hid_mese=&luogo=Toscana%7CFI%7CFirenze&cmdconferma=Ricerca

    I see the state musuems. If correct, Galleria dell’ Academia and Uffizi are state museums? and will be free during the cultural week?

    thank you

  3. Martina says:

    Thank you very much for all the useful information!!

  4. Ron in Rome says:

    Martina, the Capitoline Museums, from 14 to 22 April, 2012, will charge the following fees: € 3.50 for all visitors except people usually entitled to free admission must purchase a ticket for € 2,00. It will be free of charge only for elementary and middle school groups and disabled people. The other two sites you seek will be free during Culture week.

  5. Martina says:

    Hi Ron, I would like to verify if there is a free entry to Castel S. Angelo and Terme di Diocleziane during the Culture Week 2012. I checked the list of state run sights and found Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant´Angelo and Museo nazionale romano delle Terme di Diocleziano. However I´m not sure if these museums are the sights which I plan to visit next week. My second question – will be there a free entry into Capitoli Museums? I donť speak any Italian and I´m quite confused from all information which I´ve learned. Thank you very much for your help!!

  6. Ron in Rome says:

    Almost all State-run Museums are covered. The exceptions would be the Colosseo, Forum, and Palatine Hill which are not participating this year. And ofcourse the Vatican is a different country so it is not included – You might look at this link to see State-run sites all across Italy. Too many to list here…

  7. motu25 says:


    we would be coming to rome on 19th and 20th april 2012
    can you kindly inform us which museum would be free which we can visit on those days

  8. Ron in Rome says:

    Sue – Yes, it appears they just made this decision in the past few weeks… hard to believe that they are going to take this approach but below is the “documentation:” from the official website…. See the last line.

    XIV Settimana della Cultura 2012
    OPENING TIMES: 14-22 April 2012
    CONTACTS – Web site: http://www.beniculturali.it/mibac/export/MiBAC/sito-MiBAC/Contenuti/MibacUnif/Eventi/visualizza_asset.html_1226829710.html
    DESCRIPTION : MiBAC (the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities) opens free of charge, for nine days, all the sites owned and managed by the State: monuments, museums, archaeological sites, archives, libraries, featuring popular events throughout the country.
    – PLEASE NOTE: The COLISEUM, the PALATINE HILL and the ROMAN FORUM do not join in the Culture Week 2012 celebrations.

  9. Sue says:

    Hi Ron,

    Your website is totally great and helpful!

    But I have a question, I read from Tripadvisor forum post and found out that this year, there’s no free entry to Colosseo any more. For details, here is the link given: http://www.tickitaly.com/blog/2012/03/rome-the-colosseum-and-settimana-della-cultura-2012/

    Could you please clarify, is this true?


  10. Ron in Rome says:

    Yes, you can use the card, or you can also call the Museums or access their “reservation” options online. If you call, it’s been my experience that there are more times available than on the internet.

  11. Micah says:

    I’ll be in Florence on April 20 and 21. My main focus is the Academia and Uffizi but I fear the line will eat up my time. I’ve read the wait for non-reservations can be up to 3 hours! Would it be wise to buy a Firenze Card just to avoid the lines or will I be safe in this “crush of tourists”?

  12. Ron in Rome says:

    In the summertime, I like the mid-day options, like 3-5, or 5-7 PM because they are less crowded and it’s a great way to get out of the heat. Also, nothing is open to eat from 3-7, so a great way to spend the afternoon!

  13. Arriya Thailandia says:

    I will be Rome 21-23, almost get there last day of culture week. Anyone can advice me when is the best time to go Borghese?

  14. Leone Gage says:

    Thank you for that information as it covered what I wanted to know.

  15. Ron in Rome says:

    Leone, if you’re trying to do this online, then you can ONLY buy tickets (and thus a reservation) with a credit card. To get a reservation WITHOUT paying, you have to PHONE the ticket office of the Galleria Borghese, and make a verbal “reservation.” There is NO free, pay-later online reservation service. Once you arrive for your scheduled time, you can pay, use the Roma Pass, etc.

  16. Leone Gagae says:

    I tried to book reservations for the Borghese, got the right date and time slot, but cannot complete booking without paying. Is the free pass only available for walk-ins, or am I missing something?

  17. Ron in Rome says:

    adinda, the MAXXI is a state-run museum so it should be free during Culture Week.

  18. adinda says:

    Hi Ron,, will MAXXI the contemporary art museum and Macro participate in this event and open to public for free? if yes, it will be such a great news. thank you and God bless you for this website.

  19. Ron in Rome says:

    Nigel – Yes and Yes to your questions… I’d book my reservations as soon as possible.

  20. Nigel says:

    Ron, this is great info.

    Do you know if the Galleria Borghese participates in Culture Week? I imagine that if so the 2 hourly reservation slots would be even more difficult…

  21. Ron in Rome says:

    Linda – if you want a tour and to be shown around the Colosseo, then I suggest you book a tour. If you just want to avoid the lines, then you can get the “free” entry tickets at either the Forum or Palantine Hill entrances.

  22. Ron in Rome says:

    There are plenty of tours available. You might try one of these: Ancient Rome and Colosseum and Skip the Line – Ancient Rome and Colosseum Art History Tour

  23. Linda says:

    Hi again,
    Any suggestions on Colosseum tours would be appreciated :)

  24. Linda says:

    Hi Ron,
    I will be in Rome from April 15th to 19th. I had no idea it was cultural week until now. I guess that’s good news, but I was just about to book a tour of the Colosseum with a tour group. If it includes entrance fees I guess I’m paying more than I have to, but would be willing to do so it it means no lines. Any advice on how to handle this?

  25. thanaporn suwatthanakorn says:

    thanks a lot, you are so kind

  26. Ron in Rome says:

    I would not go a day earlier, rather save yourself some money. I doubt it will be any less crowded at certain parts of the day. Many people do not even realize the Colosseo will be free. So save yourself some money. You’ll still ned a “ticket” to get through the turnstile and they hand them out (FREE!) so you might head to the Palatine Hill or Forum entrance to pick up your Free entry ticket and thus avoid any lines at the Colosseo. With ticket in hand, just walk straight to the turnstiles.

  27. thanaporn suwatthanakorn says:

    I’ll plan to visit rome on 12-15 April 2012. If i visit the colosseum on sat 14, will it be ok? is it too crowned twice bed it’s saturday??? should i pay for the entrance fee and visit on 13 before the culture week begin???

  28. Ron in Rome says:

    Nancy, I don’t think you’ll notice any more tourists during Culture Week than in an “in-season” period. I don’t think you’ll notice a huge influx of tourists there to capitalize specificaly on this period.

  29. Nancy says:

    *Just to clarify – I caught that “crush of tourist” bit, I’m just wondering if you know whether or not that is the standard amount of tourist for the spring, or if we are talking about a huge influx for this week. Thanks again!

  30. Nancy says:

    Hello! Thanks for this detail, I was having trouble figuring out when it would be this year. One question – Do you know if this is usually a tourist heavy time? It sounds very interesting and just happens to fall in the week I was already planning to be visiting, but honestly I’d rather pay for everything if it means that this week the country will be overrun. Thanks!

  31. Ron in Rome says:

    Olga, as noted in the 3rd paragraph… the Vatican is a separate country and does not join in the Culture Week celebrations.

  32. Olga says:

    What about the vatican museums?

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