Are you an expat living in Rome or planning to move to Rome? One of the benefits of living in this vibrant city is the opportunity to explore its rich cultural heritage, including the Vatican Museums. If you’re looking to make the most of your expat experience in Rome, then you won’t want to miss the chance to visit the Vatican Museums for free on the last Sunday of the month.
As an expat, it’s essential to find ways to immerse yourself in the local culture and history of Rome. The Vatican Museums are an excellent place to start. With over 70,000 works of art and artifacts on display, the museums offer a glimpse into the history of the Catholic Church and Rome’s art and architecture. From the stunning Sistine Chapel to the Egyptian Museum, there is something for everyone at the Vatican Museums.
Founded in the early 16th century by Pope Julius II, the Vatican Museums within the Vatican City display works that have been amassed by the Catholic church over the centuries. You will find classical sculptures, tapestries, and paintings by Renaissance greats such as:
They also have a collection of Modern Religious Art with works of artists like Carlo Carrà, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Salvador Dalí, and Pablo Picasso.
The school of Athens, Raffaello
The Vatican Museums are a popular tourist destination, and the admission fees can be quite steep. However, as an expat, you have the unique advantage of being able to visit the museums for free on the last Sunday of the month. This is a fantastic opportunity to explore the museums without breaking the bank.
To make the most of your free admission to the Vatican Museums, it’s important to plan your visit in advance. The museums can be crowded, so it’s best to arrive early in the morning to avoid long lines. You may also want to consider purchasing a guidebook or hiring a local guide to help you navigate the museums and learn more about the exhibits.
The free entrance time is: 9:00 – 12:30 closing 14:00. There is also possibility of guided tours upon reservation.
While you’re at the Vatican Museums, don’t forget to visit the Sistine Chapel. This famous chapel is home to Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the ceiling fresco, and The Last Judgment. The Sistine Chapel is a must-see for anyone visiting the Vatican Museums.
Another tip for expats visiting the Vatican Museums is to take advantage of the audio guide. The audio guide provides an informative tour of the museums and gives you a deeper understanding of the history and significance of each exhibit.
In addition to the Vatican Museums, Rome is home to many other cultural attractions, including the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Pantheon. As an expat living in Rome, it’s essential to take advantage of these unique opportunities to explore the city’s rich cultural heritage.
If you’re an expat living in Rome, don’t miss the chance to visit the Vatican Museums for free on the last Sunday of the month. With a little bit of planning, you can make the most of your visit to one of the world’s most famous museums and immerse yourself in the history and culture of Rome.
Buy the Vatican Museums tickets here
Rome is a city that’s rich in culture and history, and it’s no secret that its museums are among the best in the world. If you’re looking to explore the city’s museums without breaking the bank, then you’re in luck! Every first Sunday of the month, many of Rome’s state and civic museums offer free admission. In this guide, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive list of the free state and civic museums in Rome and what you can expect from your visit.
Before you plan your visit to any of the museums, it’s important to call ahead and make sure they’re open. Additionally, not all exhibitions may be included in the free admission offer, so it’s always best to check beforehand.
Here is a list of free state museums offering free entrance on the first Sunday of every month:
Museums and State Archaeological Sites
The ‘Musei Gratuiti a Roma’ event does not always include a visit to the exhibitions in progress, for which the special charge may remain in force.
Visiting these museums can be a great way to immerse yourself in Rome’s rich history and culture without spending a dime. It’s also an excellent opportunity to learn more about the city’s artistic heritage and its influence on the world.
Don’t forget, the Vatican Museums are also free on the last Sunday of every month, which can be another great way to explore Rome’s art and history. With a little bit of planning, you can take advantage of these free admission offers and experience all that Rome’s museums have to offer.
You can find tons of events, fun activities and suggestions on our website and Social Media to meet and join groups of expats to share experiences and great moments with your friends, just by coming to our weekly events!
Coronavirus: a new decree signed overnight by the Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and published in the Official Journal contains more stringent measures to contain the spread of the virus in Lombardy and in 14 other provinces where the number of infections are greater.
A series of other measures are valid throughout the national territory. Compared to the initial draft, which began to circulate yesterday evening, there are 14 provinces and not 11 provinces, in addition to Lombardy, affected by more rigorous measures to contain the infection. These provinces are Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, Pesaro e Urbino, Alessandria, Asti, Novara, Verbano Cusio Ossola, Vercelli, Padova, Treviso and Venezia. The measures stated in the decree are valid from today, March 8, until April 3.
It is forbidden to enter and exit
Travel in and out of Lombardy and the 14 provinces stated above is prohibited. One can only move for emergencies or "proven" work needs, which must however be authorized by the prefect. Absolute ban on mobility for those who have been in quarantine.
Schools closed until April 3 - The teaching activity for schools of all levels, universities and academies is suspended until April 3.
Bars and restaurants open from 6 to 18 - The decree states an opening hours allowed for restaurant and bar services, from 6 to 18, provided that a place is able to comply with the "obligation" to ensure the interpersonal safety distance of 1 meter in the premises, with the sanction of suspension of the activity in case of violation. The suspension of exams for a driving license is also ordered.
Closed gyms and swimming pools. Derogation for games behind closed doors
The decree also establishes the closure in Lombardy and in the 14 provinces mentioned above of all gyms, swimming pools, spas and wellness centers. Outdoor sports competitions are allowed only behind closed doors (no fans). Shopping centers will have to be closed but only on the weekend. Other commercial activities, other than catering, may remain open on condition that they are able to guarantee a distance of one meter between customers. Instead, museums, cultural centers and ski resorts are closed. Contests are also suspended.
No weddings or funerals. Cinemas and theaters are closed
Civil and religious ceremonies, including funeral ceremonies, are suspended. All organized events are also suspended, as well as events in public or private places, including those of a cultural, recreational, sporting and religious nature, even if held in closed places but open to the public, such as large events, cinemas, theaters, pubs, schools dance halls, game rooms, betting rooms and bingo halls, discos and similar places.
Whenever possible, employers are advised to encourage the use of ordinary leave or holidays by their employees.
Schools are closed until March 15th
The teaching activity for schools of all levels and universities remains suspended until March 15th. Educational trips and school trips are suspended until April 3.
Cinemas, theaters and museums are closed
Throughout the whole national territory, the suspension of cinematographic, theatre events and events and shows of any nature "carried out in every place, both public and private". Opening of museums is suspended. The Municipality of Rome announces that it has ordered the closure of all museums, theatres and all places and institutes of culture.
Closed pubs, discos and bingo
Pubs, dance schools, game rooms, betting rooms and bingo halls, discos and similar clubs are suspended.
Bars and restaurants, gyms and swimming pools are open but with an obligation to keep distance of 1 meter between customers.
The managers of catering businesses can continue to keep the premises open, provided that they guarantee the interpersonal safety distance of at least one meter. Same goes for gyms and swimming pools, which can remain open as long as the visitors are guarantee safety distance from each other.
Among the preventive measures, art. 3 point C reads: "It is recommended to limit, where possible, the movement to strictly necessary cases".
Prohibition of staying in emergency rooms
Patient carers cannot stay in the emergency room waiting. Access of relatives and visitors to hospitals is also limited.
Prohibition of mobility for quarantined individuals
Even in the rest of Italy who is in preventive quarantine or has tested positive for the virus cannot move from home.
No civil and religious ceremonies, including funerals
Weddings and funerals are also suspended throughout the country.
Medical congresses suspension
Conferences, meetings and events involving healthcare personnel are suspended.
The decree provides for people in prisons to carry out the visits not in person but by telephone or video.
As in the red zone, same goes for the rest of Italy, whenever possible, employers are advised to encourage the use of ordinary leave or holidays by their employees.
Public transport and sanitation of vehicles
Public transport companies will have to take extraordinary measures to disinfect their vehicles.
Communicate to ASL (national heath care company) if you come from the red zone
Anyone returning to Italy from countries at epidemiological risk must communicate it to the competent ASL office. But also those who have passed through the red zones in the last 14 days (article 5, point 2).
Failure to comply with the decree is punished according to the article 650 of the Criminal Code, as required by the law of 23 February, i.e. with the arrest of up to 3 months and a fine of up to 206 euros.
Original article in Italian and the PDF of the decree you can read here.
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Did you know that every last Sunday of the month Vatican Museums are free?! Are you an expat living in Rome or planning to move to Rome? One of the benefits of living in this vibrant city is the opportunity to explore its rich cultural heritage, including the Vatican Museums. If you’re looking to make […]
Never fear – sightseeing in Italy’s magnificent capital city doesn’t have to cost the earth. Although many museums and monuments charge hefty admission fees, a surprising number of the famous sights are actually completely free. The doors of the city’s art-laden churches are flung open to all, ancient architectural wonders await around many a corner and it costs nothing to wander the historic streets, piazzas and parks. Check out our run-down of the best things to do in Rome without spending a thing:
1. Gaze heavenwards at the Pantheon, it’s an exhilarating experience to enter this iconic Roman building and look up at the largest unreinforced concrete dome ever built.
2. Pay homage at St Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican’s showcase basilica is free, though you’ll probably have to queue to get in. Once inside, look out for Michelangelo’s Pietà statue and Bernini’s baldachin (altar canopy).
3. Hang out on Piazza Navona, and enjoy the daily circus of street performers, artists and tourists acted out against a backdrop of baroque palazzi and ornate fountains.
4. People watch on the Spanish Steps, these grand stairs have long been a popular hangout – in the 1800s local beauties would parade up and down hoping to be picked as artists’ models.
5. Tell a lie at the Bocca della Verità, just keep your hands well out of the way. Myth holds that the mouth of the huge ancient face will slam shut on the fingers of anyone who fibs.
6. Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, according to legend, this will ensure your return to Rome. You and thousands of other people – on an average day about €3000 is chucked over people’s shoulders into the water.
7. Explore Villa Borghese, Rome’s most famous park is an oasis of shaded walkways, verdant corners and excellent museums.
8. Survey the city from Il Vittoriano, few views can top those from this massive marble monolith. You have to pay to take the lift to the top (€7) but there are plenty of free viewing spots.
9. Explore the Jewish Ghetto, this atmospheric area is studded with artisans’ studios, vintage clothes shops, kosher bakeries and popular trattorias.
10. Walk the Via Appia Antica, antiquity’s most famous road sets the perfect scene for a leisurely amble with its pine trees, Roman ruins and eerie catacombs.
11. Lap up the atmosphere in Trastevere, this vibrant district buzzes well into the night as locals and tourists hang out on its picturesque lanes and piazzas.
12. Go on a free tour, New Rome Free Tour (newromefreetour.com) runs a daily walking tour of the historic centre.
13. Take a timeout at the Cimitero Acattolico, The last resting place of Keats and Shelley, Rome’s non-Catholic Cemetery is a serene spot to recharge your batteries.
14. Learn about Rome’s war at the Museo Storico della Liberazione, Rome’s Nazi occupation is recounted at this chilling museum housed in what were once the city’s SS headquarters.
15. Marvel at the mosaics in the Chiesa di Santa Prassede, the sparkling Byzantine compositions in this easy-to-miss church are among Rome’s most impressive.
16. Admire modern architecture in EUR, a highlight of the southern district is the Palazzo della Civiltà del Lavoro, a masterpiece of Italian rationalism known as the Square Colosseum.
17. Experience religious ecstasy at the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vittoria, this roadside church is the unlikely setting for one of Italian baroque’s great masterpieces, Bernini’s Ecstasy of St Teresa.
18. Find architectural perfection on the Gianicolo hill, Bramante’s Tempietto (little temple) is considered the first great building of the High Renaissance.
19. Search out the Arco degli Acetari, discover the picture-perfect medieval courtyard hiding behind the dark Vinegar-Makers’ Arch (Via del Pellegrino 19).
20. Meet Moses at the Chiesa di San Pietro in Vincoli, Michelangelo’s muscular Moses is the star turn at this 5th-century church. Also here are the chains that St Peter supposedly wore in captivity.
21. Peek through the keyhole of the Priorato dei Cavalieri di Malta, and you’ll see St Peter’s dome perfectly framed at the end of a hedge-lined avenue.
22. Partake in the passeggiata, Head to Via del Corso and join the locals on their early-evening passeggiata (stroll).
23. Catch a Caravaggio at the Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesi, better still, catch three. This baroque church is home to the St Matthew cycle, a trio of the artist’s earliest religious paintings.
24. Get into the swing on Campo de’ Fiori, by day, poke around the much-loved market; at night, grab a drink and see in the small hours with hundreds of like-minded revellers.
25. Seek light relief in the Quartiere Coppedè, with its turreted villas, fairytale towers, gargoyles and arches, this Art Nouveau neighborhood stands in contrast to Rome’s more serious sights.
26. Watch the world go by on Piazza del Popolo, there’s always something going on on this grand neoclassical square. Nearby, the art-rich Chiesa di Santa del Popolo is well worth a look.
27. Do a double take at the Teatro di Marcello, a dead ringer for the Colosseum, this ancient stadium looms over the Area Archeologica del Teatro di Marcello e del Portico d’Ottavia.
28. Investigate a crime scene at the Largo di Torre Argentina, modern investigators have identified the spot where Julius Caesar was murdered. It was in the Area Sacra on Largo di Torre Argentina.
29. Take in a concert during Estate Romana, Rome’s big summer event stages everything from concerts and dance performances to book fairs and late-night museum openings. Some are free.
30. Check out Piazza del Campidoglio, on the Capitoline Hill, Michelangelo’s exquisitely designed piazza is one of Rome’s most beautiful public spaces.
31. Look up at Trajan’s Column, this ancient landmark towers over the Imperial Forums. If you can make them out, the reliefs depict Trajan’s military campaigns.
32. Enjoy local colour in Garbatella, this sparky neighborhood presents a colourful front with its community gardens, faux baroque palazzi and red housing blocks.
33. Go jogging in the Circo Massimo, where once crowds cheered chariot racers in Rome’s largest arena, now locals come to stretch their legs.
34. Colosseum, Palatino, and Roman Forum; first Sunday of the month.
35. Vatican Museums; last Sunday of the month.
36. All state museums; first Sunday of the month.
37. Pope’s weekly audience; every Wednesday morning.
38. Porta Portese market; every Sunday morning.
39. Palazzo di Montecitorio; first Sunday of the month.
40. May Day Concert; May 1
I am Patrizia from upstate New York now living in Rome. My parents were both from Caserta, Italy and immigrated to the US when I was only an infant. I was an Expat since I was a year old.
I guess it was destiny!! My mother always wanted to return to her home country and wasn’t able to do that due to a quick illness and sudden death. Our move back was canceled and we stayed in the US. I always remembered my mom talking about Italy as if it were paradise. I guess in a strange way I am fulfilling her dreams. Doing that I have learnt more about my mother and her culture.
Likes/dislikes about Italy and the Italians?
I like living in Rome but I don’t think I would like it in any other part of Italy. I have traveled and lived in other places but something draws me back here. The beauty of the city, and the nightlife, healthy lifestyle.
Has your life style changed since you moved to Rome? If yes, how?
I have been here so long that I am not sure what my old life style was 16 yrs ago 😉 I eat better and more picky about what I have. I have the convenience of having a car in the driveway or find easy parking. I adapted to things in Rome now. I am less materialistic but picked up a few superficial behaviours as well.
What is the the first thing you do when you go back to your home country?
Visit family of course, then find social networks and make new connections 😉
Does Italy/Rome seem multicultural?
Good question – I can say it is MultiCultural among those that have lived somewhere besides Italy all their lives. Rome has a meetup for foreigners and locals to meet everyday of the week. On some days there are 2 meetups for a Cultural or Language Exchange. So yes Rome is very multicultural.
Do you feel yourself integrated?
I have integrated with life here. I don’t freak out on small things. I don’t have a cappuccino after 11am anymore 😉 I dress not to stand out and put my flip flops in the trash. I sit in the post office for hours and don’t complain about it.
Could you tell us a few words about your group Rome expats?
I moved here in 2000 and in 2001 I started on a forum Expats living in Italy and there weren’t many English Speaking Expats that had access to internet so it was harder than to connect, but it was a small forum and we helped one another with information. In 2007 I started using other social media and suddenly I had a website and over 2 thousand members waiting for a meetup. We used to meet up 2 times a week for years but now it’s just once a week. With the emails coming in and managing such a large group, we have less meetups and more online help. 16 years later we have over 9 thousand members! Have a look at our video here.
Have you ever experienced any cases of discrimination/racism in Italy?
Yes… a few times in public with unpleasant remarks. I just ignore it.
Advice to a new expat in Rome? 😉
I don’t think I would have made here without a good network. I have a big network of Italian and Expat friends. It’s a referral system here in Italy. I see lots of Expats that will come to meet up and make friends with others that are living here a short time. I’d say try to make connections with those that have lived here about a year or even more.