Tomorrow, Saturday, April 14th, is pretty much one of the best days of the year in Rome. It’s the start of Culture Week, or, as I like to call it, “How Many Museums and Old Stuff Can I See in 8 Days? Week”. Because it’s all free. All of it. Well, technically, only most of it, but it feels like all of it. Trajan’s Markets? Free entry. Capitoline Museums? Gratis. Sunset views from Castel Sant’Angelo? Senza soldi.Those excavations out at Ostia that some people say are cooler than Pompeii? Yeah, leave your euro at home because they’re no good there this week.
Sponsored by the Ministero per i Beni e le Attivita Culturali (MiBAC), the 14th Annual Settimana della Cultura (Culture Week) runs from April 14th-April 22nd this year. A full list of MiBAC sites is available here, and the Musei in Comune are participating as well (full list here). Additionally, there are some special events and organized tours throughout the week, so navigate your way through this brochure to attend cool stuff like a guided tour of Villa Giulia (and it’s newly reopened wing) at 10am tomorrow, mosaic-making at Museo Mario Praz later this week, or a walking tour of the Appian Way – including the Tomb of Cecilia Maeta and the awesome 2nd Century Villa dei Quintili. Additionally, the Istituto Centrale per i beni sonori ed audiovisivi is hosting nightly concerts, including a Jazz combo on Tuesday at 6pm. Oh, and don’t forget to reserve a spot for a tour of the 16th Century Acquedotto Felice on Thursday at 3:30.
A few notable exceptions include, unfortunately, the Colosseum and Forum, where entrance will remain paid and go directly toward archaeological maintenance. To be fair, the old Colosseo did take this fall and winter’s bizarro weather (flooding and snowstorms, to name but a few) pretty harshly, and I guess we can all agree that it’s better to keep forking over those 12 euro for the week instead of having the whole thing collapse. Also, a 2 euro reservation charge is still required for the Galleria Borghese, which is still a considerable discount off the normal ticket price.
Oh, and if you’re looking for a little healthy competition? Hang on to all your ingresso gratiuto tickets and make a stab at winning Save Rome’s Culture Week game.