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Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Rome museums reopen after lockdown

Rome museums will reopen gradually from 18 May followed by the reopening of theatres and cinemas on 15 June.

Rome's museums, galleries and archaeological sites begin to reopen from 18 May, on a gradual basis, as Italy eases restrictions that saw cultural institutions closed for the last two months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first major museum to reopen in Rome is La Galleria Nazionale, or GNAM, Italy's national museum of modern art, which opens its doors on 18 May, along with the Elliott Erwitt show at WeGil.

This is followed the next day by the reopening of three of Rome's most important municipal museums: the Capitoline Museums, Palazzo delle Esposizioni (with its Jim Dine show) and Museo di Roma-Palazzo Braschi (with the Canova exhibition extended until 21 June). 

The Capitoline Museums will be open exclusively to holders of the MIC museum pass from 19-21 May, and open to all from 22 May, open daily from 09.30-19.30 (ticket office closes at 18.30).

The following municipal museums and sites will reopen on 2 June: Ara Pacis, Trajan's Markets, Imperial Forum, Centrale Montemartini, Museo di Roma in Trastevere, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Musei di Villa Torlonia, Civico Museo di Zoologia, Museo Carlo Bilotti, Museo Barracco, Museo Napoleonico, Museo Canonica, Museo della Repubblica Romana, Casal de’ Pazzi, and Museo delle Mura.

There is also news regarding two of Rome's blockbuster exhibitions in 2020: Raphael which closed after just three days in March, and the Torlonia Marbles show which was scheduled to open in April but didn't due to the covid-19 lockdown.

In the case of Raphael, the Scuderie del Quirinale is set to announced new dates of 2 June until 30 August, while reports in local media suggest the Torlonia sculpture exhibition at Palazzo Caffarelli has been postponed until September. 

No official reopening date for the Vatican Museums has been released either, although works are being carried out in these days to reopen the museums as soon as possible.

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Rome mayor Virginia Raggi announced that certain rules will apply when visiting the city's municipal museums: reservations will be obligatory and visitors will have their temperatures measured by a thermoscanner, with access denied in the case of high temperature.

Hand sanitiser will be available outside and inside museums and visitors will be obliged to wear masks and maintain social distancing measures. Elevators should be reserved for those who are unable to take the stairs.

Tickets for municipal museums must be purchased on the Musei in Comune website, with information also available via the city's cultural hotline, tel. 060608. There is a pre-sale fee of €1 for tickets although there is no booking fee for holders of the MIC museum card.

Galleria Borghese is preparing to open from 19 May, with visits by reservation only, following the usual timetable: Tues-Sun 09.00 to 19.00. Visits will last a maximum of 120 minutes, for 80 people at a time, and visitors must wear masks.

Also opening on 19 May is MAXXI, Italy's national museum of 21st-century art, with precautionary measures in place including thermal scanners, limited numbers and online reservation.

Outside Rome, the Villa Adriana and Villa d'Este in Tivoli are working towards a reopening on 26 May, while Ostia Antica is set to reopen on 3 June, according to Il Messaggero.

The Colosseum Archeological Park, which in addition to the Colosseum includes the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and Domus Aurea, has a tentative reopening date of 28 May.

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Italy's national collections of ancient art at Palazzo Barberini and Galleria Corsini are due to reopen on 3 June.Italy's theatres and cinemas are due to reopen on 15 June, announced Italian premier Giuseppe Conte, while Rome's public libraries will begin to reopen from 26 May, according to the capital's mayor.

Full details, in English, about the reopening of Rome's municipal museums can be found on the city website.

Wanted in Rome will update this article as more information becomes available.

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