Visiting museums in Italy is definitely a must during your trip. After all, the country is home to some of the finest art galleries and institutions in the world; these include the Galleria Borghese in Rome and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
But before heading off to check the sights, here are 5 things that you know first:
- Identify what you want to see.
This is probably the most important tip of all. Italy is such a treasure trove of art that it will take you months to visit each and every museum—a fact that’s especially true in major cities like Florence. Even individual museums, such as those in the Vatican, have so many artworks that it’s impossible to see them all in a day.So make sure to list down first all the artworks that you want to see and research the museums where you can find them. That way, you won’t end up leaving a city full of regret because you weren’t able to see a specific piece.
- Check the museum schedules.
Not all museums in Italy follow the standard schedule of being open from Tuesdays to Sundays, closed on Mondays. For example, the Vatican Museum is closed on Sundays while the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (National Archaeological Museum of Naples) is closed on Tuesdays. Some museums also adjust opening and closing times based on the seasons.Hence, when drafting your itinerary, check the museum’s website or social media accounts for any announcements regarding schedules. That way, you’ll know the best time for visiting museums in Italy during your trip.
- Buy your tickets in advance.
Now that you know which museums you want to visit, you can purchase your tickets in advance. This will let you skip the long lines at the ticket booths of Italy’s most popular museums, saving you lots of valuable time.On top of that, some tours at museums are either only available by booking a slot in advance or have very limited slots. Examples include the Secret Itineraries tour at the Doge’s Palace in Venice—it’s advised to book well in advance for this special tour.
- Don’t bring too many things with you.
Leave the big backpack at your hotel. To prevent anyone from damaging anyone any of the priceless artworks on display, whether accidentally or on purpose, some Italian museums would ask you to leave your bag at their cloakrooms. You cannot also bring food and drinks inside museums.It’s best to simply bring the essentials with you—your smartphone, wallet, and your passport. That way, you avoid the hassle of needing to check in your bag before entering a museum. At most, only have a small shoulder bag when going around.
- Keep in mind the regulations regarding photography.
In general, flash photography is forbidden inside museums. This is because exposure to the flashes of light from cameras or smartphones can damage the pigments used in these priceless works of art. Other museums may also prohibit photography as a whole. The Sistine Chapel is a prime example, though enforcement of this rule may vary.Other camera accessories are also prohibited inside many Italian museums. These include selfie sticks and tripods. And before you start shooting to your heart’s content, remember to be respectful of other guests; don’t get in other people’s way just for that perfect angle.
- Identify what you want to see.
With these 5 tips, we hope you have a fun and enriching experience when visiting museums in Italy!