Have you been putting off your trip to Italy because you haven’t found the time?
Block your calendars for 2-weeks in April because that is when the Settimana della Cultura (Culture Week) happens in Italy. Every year in the month of April, museums, monuments, archaeological sites, archives, and libraries owned and operated by the Italian government are open to the public for free for nine whole days.
The icing on the cake is the weather as April is a great time to visit Italy. The weather is good and it’s before the tourist season so you can enjoy the sights of this amazing country before tourists descend on Italy for the summer. The temperature is usually between 9-20 degree Celsius in most cities and although you may get some rain, it’s not much and a small price to pay. Vatican city is technically a different country so the Vatican Museums aren’t part of the Italian cultural week.
During the cultural week, special events are organized all over Italy and you get a chance to see sites and exhibitions that are not otherwise open to the public. Private collections and museums may not be covered in this but there is enough to keep you busy. Definitely visit the big three – Florence, Venice and Rome. If you have more time, go down south to Naples and Pompeii.
The great thing about visiting Italy during this week is that if you’re traveling on a budget, you can visit places which you wouldn’t otherwise. The dates for the culture week in 2013 are not yet out but once the dates are decided for April 2013, look up the schedule in advance on http://www.beniculturali.it and draw up a rough itinerary. For some museums and monuments you need to make a reservation in advance so if you want to visit some place in particular, make sure to check the schedule.
To save money, book your train tickets well in advance from the official Italian railways site – www.trenitalia.com. You can get tickets for as low as 9 Euros. These are economy tickets and sell out fast so you need to book in advance. Fun fact –Italy has the highest number of UNESCO world heritage sites in the world so at any time you won’t be very far from one!
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