Italy's museums free 20 days a year

Italian culture minister makes museum announcement in Milan.

Speaking at Milan’s Politecnico, culture minister Alberto Bonisoli has announced that Italian state museums will be open free for at least 20 days each year from 2019.

Culture lovers were dismayed earlier this year when the free first Sundays in the month, introduced by Bonisoli’s predecessor Dario Franceschini, were to be abandoned. The decision prompted Milan mayor Beppe Sala to rebel, stating “Milan won’t stop”.

Officials have now explained that the previous system created long queues and overcrowding in Italy’s many cultural attractions. Under the new system, said Bonisoli, the dates would be variable, and museum directors would be authorised to make local decisions to take regional differences and seasonal fluctuation in visitor numbers into account.

And to encourage museum-going among younger people, he added, 18- to 25-year-olds will be able to visit attractions at any time for just €2. Under-18s and humanities students already enjoy free admission.