Italy’s culture minister has proposed increasing entry fees to the country’s famous sites saying the “average American family” could afford it.
It comes after Florence’s Uffizi announced this week it was putting up peak-season ticket prices.
But the idea of raising entry fees to cultural attractions has angered Italians.
So will you have to pay more to visit Italy’s iconic sights in 2023?
How much does the Uffizi ticket cost?
On Tuesday, the Uffizi gallery in Florence announced it was increasing its basic high-season ticket price.
The entrance fee has risen from €20 ($21.70) to €25 ($27.10) per person.
The renowned museum said the price hike was necessary to help offset rising energy and construction costs.
Visitors have to pay peak season rates to see the celebrated collection of paintings and sculptures from 1 March to 30 November.
Other ticket prices – including low season and membership passes – have not been raised.
Can you get discounted tickets for the Uffizi?
While the Uffizi’s collection is one of the most distinguished in the world, many visitors may struggle to pay the increased ticket price.
But if you head to the gallery before 8.55 am, you can join the queue for cheaper early bird tickets.
These will cost you €19 ($26.60).
Will you have to pay more for Italy’s attractions in 2023?
During the announcement to raise ticket prices, the Uffizi’s management stated that most single tickets were purchased by foreign visitors.
Later, Italy’s culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano told press he considered the Uffizi price increase to be fair and “in step with European standards.”
He also highlighted American tourists, claiming they could afford to shell out more to visit Italy’s cultural attractions.
“After all, the average American family that comes to Italy spends 10 to 20 thousand dollars because of 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 reporters spread across social media prompting protests from Italian users.
“Italian public museums exist for us, not for foreign tourists, Minister,” said one Twitter commenter, while another lamented cultural sites “becoming resorts.”
Do you have to pay to visit the Pantheon?
Following his appointment to the role in October, Sangiuliano has also proposed to reinstate a controversial entry fee for the Pantheon in Rome.
The plan would see a €2 charge for admission, an idea already suggested and vetoed in 2018.
The ancient Roman building is currently free to visit, but the proposed entry fee is still under discussion.
Sangiuliano claims Italy’s admission fees are low compared to other European countries, citing the €14 ($15.20) entry fee to visit the tomb of Napoleon in Paris or the €25 ($27.10) ticket for Westminster Abbey in London.