Vatican Museums free for Italy's medical workers

Vatican offers token of gratitude to Italy's healthcare staff for their role in the covid-19 crisis.

The Vatican Museums will be free for Italy's public and private doctors, nurses and medical staff for a week as a mark of gratitude for their work during the covid-19 crisis, reports Vatican News.

Healthcare workers will also have free entry for the next two weekends to the Pontifical Villas and gardens at Castel Gandolfo, the pope's summer residence overlooking Lake Albano, which will reopen for weekend visits from 6 June.

The initiative will be valid at the Vatican Museums from 8-13 June, and at the Pontifical Villas over the weekends of 6-7 and 13-14 June.

Visiting the Vatican Museums post-lockdown

The usual visiting procedures at the Vatican Museums have changed significantly since their reopening to the public on 1 June following a closure of almost three months due to the coronavirus emergency.

Visitors are now obliged to wear masks, and have their temperature checked before entry, and advance online booking is obligatory.

For the foreseeable future it will not be possible to buy tickets in person however the Vatican has waived the €4 booking fee for the duration of this phase, whose timelime has yet to be clarified.

There are also new opening hours at the Vatican Museums: Mon-Thurs 10.00-20.00 (last entry at 18.00) and Fri-Sat 10.00-22.00 (last entry 20.00).

The Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo reopen to the public from 6 June, by reservation. The visits will be held on Sat-Sun 10.00-18.00, last entry 17.00, with visitors obliged to wear masks.

The train between Vatican City and Castel Gandolfo remains suspended until further notice.

For full visiting details and updates see Vatican Museums website.