Italy museums see record attendance
Italian state museums are on track for another record-setting year in 2017 in terms of visitors and revenue, with the outdoor Colosseum in Rome and Pompeii near Naples topping the Culture Ministry’s most-visited and most-lucrative list.
The ministry Monday issued a three-year review of its revolutionary decision to bring in non-Italian directors for some of the gems of its national museum network, and to give the institutions greater autonomy. The results were significant: an 18.5 percent increase in the number of visitors nationwide from 2013-2016, and a 38.4 percent increase in revenue — or about 48.5 million — to 175 million euros last year.
Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said the ministry’s reforms “are starting to bear fruit.” He praised a continued “radical inversion of trends,” with visitor numbers already up 9.4 percent and revenues up 13.5 percent in the first nine months of 2017.
With more UNESCO heritage sites than any other country, Italy’s outdoor cultural patrimony is one of its biggest draws — Rome’s Colosseum and Forum, the lagoon city of Venice and the Roman amphitheater of Siracusa to name a few.