Hours of Operation Questions in Italy?

Old Aug 19th, 2015, 12:14 PM
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Hours of Operation Questions in Italy?

I'm trying to get the Italian portion of my November trip nailed down, but I've read that many museums/attractions can be closed some variation of Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays.

I want to see a lot of the usual suspects (Leaning Tower of Pisa, Colosseum, and Vatican City, just to name a few).

Also, I really want to be able to explore Venice while I'm there, but it seems a lot of the businesses there are closed on Sundays, or are Mondays and Tuesdays also an issue there?

Would I be better off being in Rome on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, or would Florence/Pisa be the better bet?

I'm still researching and nailing down exactly where all I want to go in each city, but I was hoping to get an idea of which city I might have more issues going to the popular sights on these "off" days.

Thanks as always for all help.
lmh2588 is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2015, 12:22 PM
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If you go to the web sites of any of the attractions it will tell you days/hours of opening - as well as which holidays (can be local) they might be closed. A few minutes on google will let you know.

As for restaurants - there will always be some places open - so unless you want a specific one the answers are difficult. (Some open certain days, some only dinner, some lunch only certain days - but always plenty of places to eat unless it's Christmas Day or something.)
nytraveler is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2015, 12:58 PM
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I live in italy and you really cannot rely on the internet for reliable information about some -- even many -- Italian websites.

I have never used a Rick Steves guide, but I hear that they are kept very much up to date.

For restaurants, it is very typical in Italy for good restaurants to be closed on Sunday evening, but open for lunch. Most restaurants are otherwise open on Weds thru Sat, but some only do a dinner service.

Finallly -- just to indicate to you just how wrong the above post is and why social media is full of misinformation -- it is very typical for good restaurants to be open for lunch Christmad Day in many parts of Italy, since it is a popular time for Italians to have a festive lunch out in many parts of Italy.

It is a challenge to plan a trip to Italy because in addtion to the typical Monday closings of museums -- or finding important churches are off-limits to picture-snapping tourists during services -- it is also the case that some lesser venues close down between 1pm and 4pm every afternoon.

In addition to getting your hands on an up-to-date guidebook it can be helpful to double check any information you learn there on message boards like TripAdvisor or Slow Travel, where people usually have a sense of responsibility about posting and don't post things just for whatever selfish satisfaction it gives them with no regard to your trip.
sandralist is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2015, 01:07 PM
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It is not related to any particular city. It is more of the type of the places.

If you want an analysis relevant to your visit, you will have to make chart of open days/hours of the target items and do what ifs analysis on which ones important to you can visit by playing with the sequence of visits.

Tacky tourist oriented shows/restaurants are usually always open. If you are looking for something else,

Sunday: businesses targeting the locals are often closed. This includes some restaurants.

Monday: is the predominant close day for museums. Some restaurants also close on this day.

Tuesday: museums not closed on Monday usually close on Tuesdays.

Functioning churches close to tourists during services. If you are a worshiper, you can join them.

Anything in the Vatican city requires more thinking. When it is open to tourists, there is a long security line to enter the St. Peters as well as a long ticket line to enter the Vatican museum if you have not made a reservation or on a booked tour. The Basilica closes to tourists during regular and special services. You have to go to the Vatican official site and pour over the event calendar.

You also need to overlay the availability of reservation required places as well as availability of transport between places before you box yourself into having to be in specific places on specific days.
greg is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2015, 01:46 PM
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In general, museums associated with the Catholic Church tend to be closed on Sundays and open on Mondays. This is true of museums operated by the Church all over Italy. This includes some very important museums, such as the Vatican Museums in Rome, and the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Florence.

Rome is the city whose opening and closing times I know best.

State museums are closed on Mondays. However, there are many private and municipal museums that are open on Mondays. Prime (but not the only) examples are the Vatican Museums, the Capitoline Museums, the Galleria Doria Pamphili, and the Villa Farnesina. Some archaeological sites, including the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and Baths of Caracalla, are also open on Mondays. In short, there's no need to stay away from Rome on Sundays.

The Vatican Museums are closed on Sundays, except for the last Sunday of the month, when they're open until 2 PM, and there are no admission charges (nor the possibility of reserved entrances). I wouldn't go there for any reason whatsoever on that day, because the crowds are insane and the wait to get in could be hours long. Some other private museums are closed on Sundays, such as the Villa Farnesina, which does have some Sunday openings with period musical entertainment.

The major churches, especially the papal basilicas, are open all day, every day. These large churches usually don't permit tourist visits during masses, but you have to stay away from the area where the service is taking place, and be quiet and respectful. Don't take photos anywhere near the worshippers. Often, much of the art is in the side chapels, and there's plenty to see even with these restrictions.

Smaller churches may forbid entrance during masses, and often close for several hours in the afternoon.

You'll have little trouble finding a restaurant at any time, especially in the touristic center. If you want a specific restaurant, you need to check its hours.

I can't think of anything that's closed on Tuesdays in Rome.

I don't know the hours of museums in Florence and Venice as well, In Florence, Palazzo Pitti is open on Mondays. In Venice, the Palazzo Ducale and a number of other museums and monuments are open every day of the week. Some museums are closed on Mondays, while others are closed on Tuesdays.

In Pisa, I believe the Leaning Tower and everything else in the Piazza dei Miracoli is open every day of the week.

In short, for things to see and do, there's a lot to keep you busy any day of the week in all of the cities you mention.
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Old Aug 19th, 2015, 04:51 PM
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These are the official websites for most of the museums in Florence:


[Click on 'Useful information' for each sight.]

Several sights are open alternate Sundays and/or Mondays, and some are closed Tuesdays. Some sights' hours change in the off-season. IMO, it's generally difficult to see all of the main sights in Florence if you're only in the city on a Sunday-Monday-Tuesday.

If there was something else you wanted to see or do in Florence, you'd need to do a little research for open/closed hours and days. You should buy tickets in advance for things like the Uffizi, Accademia, etc. Reservations are free but required for the Brancacci Chapel.

And here is the official website for the Leaning Tower in Pisa. You should buy tickets for this, too.

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