Rome's museums fall silent again under new shutdown

Mausoleum of Augustus closes again after just two weeks.

Rome's museums and archaeological sites have closed their doors once more, due to Italy's covid-19 restrictions, after the Lazio region was placed in a maximum level red zone.

The zona rossa measures, in effect from 15 March until at least 5 April, have been extended to half the country as Italy battles a new wave of coronavirus infections.

The closure comes exactly a year after Italy's museums were shut in the first nationwide lockdown, before reopening on various dates between May and June last year.

Museums and archaeological sites were then closed again last November and reopened on 1 February this year.

Their reopening however was short-lived as six weeks later the capital's museums are now all closed again - for the third time in a year - from the Colosseum to the Vatican Museums.

The closure is particularly poignant for the Mausoleum of Augustus which reopened just two weeks ago, after 14 years, with demand so high that it sold out of tickets until 30 June.

The backlog of visits cancelled due to the lockdwn closure is now likely to make it even more difficult to book a visit to the tomb of Rome's first emperor.

The city also missed out on the historical re-enactment of Julius Caesar's assassination today, while the Torlonia Marbles exhibition once again goes back under wraps, for now. 

Photo credit: Vasilii L /