Culture? In Rome?? Only next week...

OK, that's not strictly true. Rome is full of culture every day of the year, but next week, that culture is free!

Starting this Saturday, for 9 days (9th till 17th April), all state-run museums, monuments (yes, the Colosseum), archaeological sites and exhibitions will have free entry thanks to Italy's settimana della cultura.

This isn't just restricted to Rome, but is an Italian-wide Cultural event. There are over 300 events scheduled across Lazio alone. Of course, if you fancy, you could head up to Florence to the Uffizi or down to Naples to check out Pompeii.

At some sites, like the Colosseum, you'll still need to queue up to get a ticket, and, as it's free, it'll pay if you get there early as many sites could be busier than usual. For example, for the Colosseum, the queues are often shorter at the Palatine Hill entrance (the ticket covers both the Colosseum and the Foro romano/Palatine hill).

There are a few exceptions, such as privately-owned museums, the Planetarium and the Capitoline Museum (which does have a reduced entrance price instead) and, of course anything to do with the Vatican, as it's not part of Italy.

For a full list of museums, monuments etc., that are participating in the cultural week, click here (list in Italian).

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