Italy scraps weekend reservations for small museums

Move follows appeal by Italy's smaller museums to culture ministry.

Italy's smaller museums will no longer require visitors to book in advance for weekend visits after the government announced the easing of the country's covid-19 restrictions.

The previous system had obliged visitors to book "at least one day in advance" to visit all museums at weekends however this requirement has been modified following an appeal to the culture ministry, reports Artribune.

The measure was intended to reduce contagion risks from over-crowding however smaller museums argued that, due to their lower profile and often remote locations, they relied on impromptu weekend visitors.

The appeal, signed by a collection of museum networks in Tuscany, centred on "small museums, often located in historic villages," with visits described as "for the most part unplanned" and "impromptu... perhaps decided at the last moment."

Under the latest easing of covid-19 restrictions, announced on Monday night, smaller museums will be excluded from compulsory advance reservations at weekends.

The culture ministry has retained the obligation to reserve weekend visits at least 24 hours ahead for "museums and places of culture which registered more than one million visitors in 2019."

These have been identified as the Pantheon, Colosseum, Pompeii, Uffizi, the Accademia Gallery in Florence and Castel S. Angelo

The move is described by culture minister Dario Franceschini as "another step towards a gradual return to normality."

Image: Italy's Etruscan Museum at Villa Giulia. Photo credit: Valery Rokhin / Shutterstock.com.