Rome Museums for Students on a Budget

Living in the vibrant city of Rome, it seems like there is always something for you to do and see. With the academic side of John Cabot University taking up your time with classes, homework, and projects, and the leisurely side of cafés and restaurants in Trastevere, you will most definitely never be bored. However, it’s important to find a balance between schoolwork and leisure while still including Italian cultural exploration in your routine. Luckily, in Rome, the possibilities are endless…especially if it is the first Sunday of the month.

All Italian state museums are free and open to the public on the first Sunday of every month. So get out there and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity while checking out a few of the 300 state museums, gardens, monuments, and archaeological sites in Italy…and it won’t cost you a dime!

Here is a list of five of Rome’s museums that are free on the first Sunday of the month:

1. The Colosseum
(Piazza del Colosseo, 1) 

The Colosseum—one of Rome’s most iconic symbols—is one you can’t miss! You absolutely cannot live in Rome without checking out the largest amphitheater ever built. It dates back to 80 AD, and is still standing strong in 2018. 

2. National Museum of Castel Sant’Angelo
(Lungotevere Castello, 50)

Castel Sant’Angelo—also called The Mausoleum of Hadrian—was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family in 139 AD. This building was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle, and it is now a museum. Studying at JCU means passing this iconic structure every time you cross to the other side of the Tiber. Why not check it out next time you’re strolling around the neighborhood on the first Sunday of the month?

3. Galleria Borghese
(Piazzale Scipione Borghese, 5)

Located in the Villa Borghese park, the Galleria Borghese is a beautiful art gallery housing a wide collection of sculptures and paintings. The gallery dates back to the seventeenth century and includes works by Caravaggio, Bernini, Bellini, Raphael, and more. Just be aware that even though it’s free, you need to reserve your ticket in advance as spots are limited. Go check out the museum and then hang out in the park, enjoying a perfect spring Sunday in Rome!

4. Capitoline Museums
(Piazza del Campidoglio, 1)

The Capitoline Museums are a group of galleries and museums on the Capitoline Hill of Rome. They were opened to the public in 1734 and are considered the first museum in the world–it was understood as a place where art could be enjoyed by everyone, not just by the owners.

5. Baths of Caracalla
(Via delle Terme di Caracalla, 52)

The Terme di Caracalla, or Baths of Caracalla, were ancient Rome’s second-largest public baths, and were built around 215 AD. Various works of art have been discovered within the baths, and today the beautiful arches and some mosaics are still standing.

A list of more participating museums can be found on the Italian Ministry of Culture and Environment website.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the world right outside the walls of your apartment!


Alexa (Shearer) Vujaklija
Class of 2015
Communications Major
Grew up in The United States, Germany, The Republic of Georgia, Russia, and Bulgaria

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