Published on : Tuesday, January 9, 2018
More than 123,000 people visited museums, archaeological and historical sites across the country on the first Sunday of 2018, which was the first free-entry Sunday of the New Year, showed the official data.
Italy’s state-owned museums and heritage places offer free admission to all visitors every first Sunday of each month and that trend started since July 2014. In 2017, there was a record number of visitors’ footfall with over 50 million and created 193.6 million euros (231.8 million U.S. dollars) for the state coffers.
The number of foreign tourists visiting Italian museums also increased by 7.8 percent in number, and 7 percent in terms of spending last year. Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism Dario Franceschini said that 2017 will be recalled as the record year for the economy’s most crucial sectors and that it is their duty to support the growth.
The minister also stressed the “key role” played by Italy’s southern regions within such national trend in 2017. “The Campania region (surrounding Naples) is firmly in the second place in the national ranking, for example,” Franceschini said. Regeneration of Pompeii is certainly one of the driving factors but a positive performance also marked the management of the Royal Palace of Caserta, the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, and (museums of) Capodimonte and Paestum.
The overall figures revealed by the official statistics, Italian museums and heritage sites have witnessed an upward trend in latest years, from 38.42 million visitors in 2013 to 43.28 million in 2015 and 45.38 million in 2016. Rome’s Colosseum remained the most visited place in 2017 with over 7 million visitors making it 10 percent annual increase), Pompeii’s Archaeological Park with 3.38 million visitors (7.6 percent increase) and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence with 2.2 millions (10.4 percent).