Italy City Passes: are they really worth it?

Discounts and the ability to skip enormous lines? Sounds good to me. But are they really a good deal?


Once you have booked all your travel arrangements, one last thing to decide whether or not buy a city pass. It is a super ticket that, depending on the formula, allows you to freely access places of interest and tourist services. They are called museum cards, or art cards, and are dedicated exclusively to cultural heritage: they give free access to museums, castles, archaeological sites, palaces and gardens, and sometimes, they even include local public transport.

Take for example the Rome Omnia Card, the card issued by the Vatican in Rome: it is valid for 72 hours and is sold for 113 euros.


The breakdown: Vatican / Vatican Museums (the single ticket with preferential entry 21 euros), Ancient Rome (Colosseum and Roman Forum 16 euros), the Galleria Borghese (22 euro), Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano and Cloister (5 euros), the St.Paul’s Basilica Outside the Walls (3 euros), Open Bus Tour (28 euros) and use of the Roman public transport (18 euros for the 72-hour ticket).


The total of the single tickets considered makes 113 euros. In practice, despite grueling visits, the card barely bear its fruit. In short, getting up at dawn and transforming your holiday from a moment of relaxation into a hectic activity is not enough to make the OMNIA card convenient.


Much easier to save with the Artecard Napoli (3 days, 21 euros), which includes free access to the first three museums visited, the discount on the ticket from the fourth museum onwards, and unlimited access to public transport. It is enough to visit the National Archaeological Museum (18 euros), the Certosa di San Martino (6 euros) and the Royal Palace (4 euros) to be able to amortise the cost of the card. So the 13.50 euros that you would spend on public transport (day ticket of 4.50 euros multiplied by three) are saved.

Our advice

These cards are not to be bought with your eyes closed. Before leaving for your city break in Italy, it is better to organise a sustainable itinerary and compare the price of the card with the total of the tickets for the individual museums chosen. Furthermore, there are reductions on tickets based on the age of the visitor, usually after 65 and free for under 18.


It should also be considered that, in addition to the art cards, there are cumulative tickets. For example, those who stay for a couple of days in Florence may find the cumulative tickets of the Museo del Duomo (20 euro) or the 3-day pass Uffizi Gallery (38 euro) more advantageous than the Firenze Card (85 euro).


Furthermore, the card is almost certainly not convenient if your holiday falls on the first weekend of the month: admission to most museums is free on the first Sunday of the month, for everyone.

Capitoline Museums
Capitoline Museums, Rome
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