When planning a trip one of the biggest budget killers tends to be entry fees into attractions. For the frugal traveler this sometimes means missing out on sites you've been dreaming of seeing since you were a child. Italian Cultural Week is here to change that!
XIII Settimana della Cultura, or the 13th Annual Cultural Week, in Italy runs from April 9 – 17, 2011. Italy has an immense cultural and artistic history to share with the world and during Cultural Week state-run museums, monuments and archaeological sites open their doors and share that history with the public for free!
Outside of Italy it doesn't appear that this is a well-advertised event. I found it completely by accident when I was in Italy in 2004. When I returned to Italy in 2007 I got lucky and happened to be there again at just the right time. Unfortunately, the week fluctuates from year to year so planning your trip around it requires a little research through the Ministry of Heritage and Culture
At the Ministry of Heritage and Culture site you will find information on the near 2500 events, concerts, guided tours and such going on during Settimana della Cultura. Some of the sites include the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum in Rome, the Uffizi Gallery, Medici Chapels and Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence as well as the Gallerie dell'Accademia and Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Venice. No matter where your adventures in Italy take you you'll be sure to find attractions you've been longing to see are free to visit during Cultural Week. A list of sites, by region, can be searched at the Ministry of Heritage and Culture site.