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No more free entry for visitors over 65 years of age in Italian museums

by Marco Masciaga

In a move aimed at increasing the revenues of Italy's museums and archeological sites, the Culture minister Dario Franceschini last week announced a change in ticketing policy that will curb the giveaway of free tickets, currently accounting for the 33% of the total.

Starting from July 1st visitors over 65 years of age will pay full price, while those under 18 will still enter for free and youngsters between 18 and 25 will still be let in for half the full fare. "In this way – Franceschini said - we will avoid offering free tickets to wealthy foreign tourists older than 65", a group of people that last year contributed to bringing the total of non-paying guests of Italian museums and sites to an astounding 8,7 million out of a total of 26,3 million.

Despite the belt tightening, Italian museums will offer free entry to everyone on the first Sunday of every month and major institutions, including the Coliseum, Pompei and the Uffizi, on Fridays won't close before 10pm. Franceschini confirmed that the "Notti al museo" (Night at the museum) initiative will take place twice a year, despite the fact that last month the night opening of the Colosseo nearly failed because of a dispute with trade unions.