Which Florence and Rome Museums Need Reservations?
Lines at top Italian museums are bad enough to ruin any vacation and sour your image of Italy! Thankfully, there’s a way around them.
You’re all set for your one-week dream vacation in Italy. You’ve booked the flights, the hotels, the internal transfers. You’ve scouted out restaurants to try.
Most of all, you cannot wait to spend your days wander the hallowed halls of some of Europe’s most famous museums, soaking in the glory of all the Donatello, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Rafael and Titians that you can.
But when you show up at the Uffizi on the day you’ve set aside, you get stuck in line. For four hours. In 85 degrees with high humidity. You end up with an hour and a half to run through the museum, but you’re too exhausted to really enjoy it. Three days later, at the Vatican, you try to arrive early to beat the crowds and end up only waiting . . . three hours.
Lines at top Italian museums are bad enough to ruin any vacation and sour your image of Italy!
Thankfully, there’s a way around them.
Which Museums Need Reservations in Florence and Rome?
Image © Italian Concierge
Suffice to say, not only do you need a reservation for the big guys – the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and the Vatican Museums in Rome – you might not even make it in without one in the busy seasons.
But other smaller but equally renowned museums have started to either explicitly require reservations or limit the number of entrances a day, so that you probably won’t get in without booking in advance.
- Palazzo Vecchio in Florence: the ancient city hall with frescos by some of the city’s most famous artists; reservations required
- Accademia in Florence: home of Michelangelo's David and other prized Renaissance sculptures; reservations highlight recommended
- Galleria Borghese in Rome: the museum of the Villa Borghese; reservations required and limited, book at least two weeks in advance
- The Colosseum in Rome: only a certain amount of visitors may enter at a time;new upper and lower sections only available with a guide; reservations highly recommended
How do You Make Museum Reservations in Italy?
In Florence, you can get tickets in person (but not at the museums) at designated ticket offices to skip the main line at the museum. The easiest one is in the Orsanmichele church in the historic center, though there is also one across the street from the Accademia. You can also get tickets for any of the city museums on the Polo Museale website, though there is no surcharge in person.
For the Ancient Roman sites (the Colosseum entrance includes the Forum), you can buy tickets on the Palatine hill entrance to the forum or online, while Vatican reservations are available directly on the Vatican museum website.