Milan museums open free until September

Milan has increased the number of city museums open free of free of charge until 8 September in an initiative sponsored by the energy giant Eni.

The summer initiative now includes the Museo del Novecento, the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of the Risorgimento, the Natural History Museum and the Castello Sforzesco, which alone includes a further seven museums. Some museums – like the City Acquarium, the Gallery of Modern Art and Palazzo Morando – were already open free.

“Those who have already seen some of these collections,” said culture councillor Filippo del Corno, “can rediscover Milan’s extraordinary artistic patrimony and visit other sites. And for others it will be a special occasion to get to know Milan, the city of the arts, which is still a secret for some, just waiting to be discovered.” Del Corno added that the free openings last year had doubled the number of visitors compared with paid opening in previous years.

The exhibits will be open at the usual times throughout the month of August (including the Ferragosto holiday) and up to Sunday 8 September. The news comes just as surveys are published showing that in these times of crisis only 32 per cent of Italians plan on taking a vacation away from home this year, half the figure of seven or eight years ago.

The drop in family travel is so steep that Autostrade per l’Italia, the motorway management organisation, has forecast only one “black day” for travel this year instead of the usual five or six, and this only on the morning of 3 August and restricted to the Adriatic coast stretch.