Italy’s culture minister has proposed raising entrance fees to the country’s famous sites, saying the “average American family” could afford it.
It comes after the Uffizi in Florence announced this week that it was raising high season ticket prices.
But the idea of raising entrance fees to cultural attractions has angered Italians.
So will you have to pay more to visit Italy’s iconic sites in 2023?
How much does the Uffizi ticket cost?
On Tuesday, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence announced that it was increasing the base price of its high-season ticket.
The entrance price has been reduced from €20 ($21.70) to €25 ($27.10) per person.
The famous museum said the price hike was necessary to help offset rising energy and building costs.
Visitors must pay peak season rates to view the famous collection of paintings and sculptures from March 1 through November 30.
Other ticket prices – including low season and subscriptions – have not been increased.
Can you get discounted Uffizi tickets?
While the Uffizi collection is one of the most distinguished in the world, many visitors may struggle to afford the higher ticket price.
But if you head to the gallery before 8:55 a.m., you can join the queue for cheaper early-bird tickets.
These will set you back €19 ($26.60).
Will you have to pay more for Italian attractions in 2023?
When announcing the ticket price increase, the Uffizi management said that most single tickets were purchased by foreign visitors.
Italian Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano later told the press that he considered the Uffizi price increase to be fair and “in line with European standards”.
He also singled out American tourists, saying they could afford to shell out more to visit Italy’s cultural attractions.
“After all, the average American family coming to Italy spends $10,000 to $20,000 on the cost of flights and hotels,” he said.
“So paying €20 for a ticket to see a unique site like Pompeii can also be done.”
Sangiuliano’s interview with journalists has spread across social media, prompting protests from Italian users.
“Italian public museums exist for us, not for foreign tourists, Minister,” said one commenter on Twitter, while another lamented that cultural sites “are becoming vacation spots.”
Do you have to pay to visit the Pantheon?
Following his appointment to the role in October, Sangiuliano also offered to reinstate a controversial entrance fee for Rome’s Pantheon.
The plan would see a €2 charge for admission, an idea already suggested and rejected in 2018.
The ancient Roman building is currently free to visit, but the proposed entrance fee is still under discussion.
Sangiuliano says entry fees to Italy are low compared to other European countries, citing the €14 ($15.20) entrance fee to visit Napoleon’s tomb in Paris or the €25 ticket ($27.10) for Westminster Abbey in London.