To the untrained traveller, you may think you have to wait in line patiently to see famous art work on your next trip to Italy. This is not the case, you can purchase tickets online which means saving time in queues, allowing you to see more of the city.
Doge’s Palace Venice
The Palazzo Dulce in Venice is right on the edge of St Mark’s square. You can access one of the most famous bridge’s in Venice – the Bridge of Sighs. Reserve online and you can go into the Doge’s Palace without spending hours in line. If you are planning on staying a few days in Venice and visiting many museums, it may be worth investing in a Venice Museum pass which will also give you access to St Mark’s Basilica and The Venice Acccademia Galleries.
The Accademia in Florence
The Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze is home to Michelangelo’s David. The 5m 17cm high sculpture of the man who beat Goliath took 3 years to build and has been at the Accademia since 1873. If you do not have a ticket, you can be waiting for up to 2 hours in the queue. If you are unable to book in advance but still want to visit David, head out early. The museum opens at 8:15, so make sure you are there at 7:30. You can purchase tickets on line but it not the most comprehensive website. Alternatively, you can buy tickets at the shop across the street from the museum. It will cost an extra 7 euros for the reservation, bringing the total to 17 euros.
The Vatican Museum in Rome
Many people visit the Vatican Museum and The Sistine Chapel. You can avoid the sometimes 2 hour queue outside the museum if you reserve in advance. There are many sites trying to encourage tourists to buy a ticket buy from the official Vatican site. It does no have the prettiest URL, but it is the real thing. You can choose the time and day to visit the Vatican for an extra 4 euros. The total cost will be 19 euros. You can also choose to book a ticket for a private guide or join a group guide of the Vatican, but this is more expensive, from 40 euros. Beware of the numerous people outside the Vatican museum trying to sell you a ticket to avoid the queue, some are 25 euros plus the entrance to the museum which of course is way too much.
The museums in Italy house some of the finest art work in the world. Even if you are in Italy for a short period, make time to visit at least one of the well known museums in each city. The Vatican Museum in particular is a must see for any tourist, even if you are not usually one to visit art galleries and museums. The ceiling of the Sistene Chapel is simply amazing.
When you are in Italy, there are many places to stay, hostels, hotels and even apartments. If you are visiting Venice, stay in the heart of the island and rent one of the many short term apartments in Venice. Venice is a short train ride from Florence and Florence is only 1.5 hours north of Rome on the Italian Eurostar. It is perfectly feasible to se all three in one week.