Art & CultureArt & Culture

7 museums in Emilia-Romagna you can visit for free

by /// February 9, 2024
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes



For a few years now it has been possible to visit state museums and archaeological sites for free on the first Sunday of the month, thanks to a project by the Italian Ministry of Culture. Yet the topic of this article has nothing to do with the free Sundays in the museums of the region. Today we would like to recommend 7 museums in Emilia-Romagna, which can be visited all year round for free. Lesser-known places, but certainly worth seeing!


Collezione Maramotti | Reggio Emilia

The former manufacturing site of Max Mara in Reggio Emilia is home to the Maramotti Collection that includes over 200 contemporary artworks collected in the second half of the 20th century by the founder of the famous fashion house Achille Maramotti. The aim of the collection is to offer an overview of the art movements from 1945 to today, with masterpieces by the greatest Italian and international artists of our time, ranging from Burri to Basquiat. Admission to the collection is free, guided and by appointment for a maximum of 25 visitors at a time.

Museo del Tricolore | Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia, Sala del Tricolore | Ph. D-VISIONS via Shutterstock (solo per uso editoriale)
Reggio Emilia, Sala del Tricolore | Ph. D-VISIONS via Shutterstock (for editorial use only)

A space where the history of the Italian flag is intertwined with that of the city. Totally free of charge, the Tricolour Museum is located inside the Town Hall, in the heart of Reggio Emilia. The building also houses the famous Sala del Tricolore, the place where the symbol of the Cispadane Republic was first adopted. The exhibition includes many materials and memorabilia that tell the story of the birth of the green, white and red flag, alongside contemporary works of art.

Palazzo dei Musei | Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia, Palazzo dei Musei | Ph. Musei Civici Reggio Emilia
Reggio Emilia, Palazzo dei Musei | Ph. Musei Civici Reggio Emilia

Located in the central Piazza Martiri, the Palazzo dei Musei di Reggio Emilia is divided into numerous sections, arranged on several floors, inside a former Franciscan convent. The first nucleus of the museum was established in 1830 with the private collection of Lazzaro Spallanzani, a well-known 18th-century biologist originally from Scandiano.

Today the galleries display exhibits that trace the history of the Reggio Emilia area from prehistoric to contemporary times, passing through Roman civilisation, the Middle Ages and the era of the Este family. The rooms on the second and top floor, refurbished in 2005 by architect Italo Rota, invite visitors on a journey into the world of photography through the works of Luigi Ghirri and the heritage of Fotografia Europea project.

MAST | Bologna

Bologna, MAST
Bologna, MAST |Ph. Barbara Ricci, via Facebook

The MAST museum (Manifattura di Arti, Sperimentazione e Tecnologia) was built by the Coesia group in a disused industrial area located in the Reno district of Bologna. Consisting of an interactive area and a space for temporaray exhibitions of industrial photography, the museum aims at bringing visitors closer to the concept of entrepreneurship and work in the light of new technologies, with the help of devices and tools, multimedia and installations. Admission to the MAST exhibitions is always free.

Casa Morandi | Bologna

Bologna, Casa Morandi | Ph. Bologna Welcome
Bologna, Casa Morandi | Ph. Bologna Welcome

Visiting Casa Morandi, the home of the Bolognese painter from 1933 to 1964, is the perfect way to experience the life and work of Giorgio Morandi. Located in Via Fondazza 36, the atelier displays the artist’s everyday working objects such as vases, bottles and shells, as well as furniture, family furnishings and part of Morandi’s collection of antique works of art. Moreover, audio and video installations help visitors better understand the painter’s personal story. Admission to the house is free, but it is recommended to book the ticket online in advance to avoid queues.

Museo degli Sguardi | Rimini

The Museo degli Sguardi in Rimini presents one of the most significant collections dedicated to different cultures from Africa, Oceania and pre-Columbian America in Italy. Housed in Villa Alvarado on Covignano hill, the museum’s project is the work of the famous anthropologist Marc Augé.

The exhibition includes artefacts collected by the Veneto collector Delfino Dinz Rialto during his travels, as well as works from the missions of the Franciscan Friars, the Ugo Canepa Pre-Columbian Archaeological Collection from Biella and a small Amazonian collection donated by Bruno Fusconi from Cesena. The gazes (‘sguardi’ in Italian) presented to visitors are those of the Western world towards the cultures of other peoples, from the ‘cabinet of curiosities’ to the 19th-century ethnological museums, up to 20th century Primitivism. The museum is free and open by appointment.

I Luoghi dell'Anima | Pennabilli (Rimini)

I Musei dell'Anima, L’orto dei frutti dimenticati
Pennabilli (Rimini), I Luoghi dell’Anima | Ph. Assessorato al Turismo della Provincia di Rimini

Created from an idea of the Romagna poet Tonino Guerra, the diffuse museum I Luoghi dell’Anima (Places of the Soul) brings together as many as seven museums located in the territory of Pennabilli and the Upper Marecchia Valley. More specifically, these include installations, paintings, sculptures and ceramics, most of them open-air and each with a specific name: The Garden of Forgotten Fruits, The Road of Sundials, The Petrified Garden, The Angel with a Moustache, The Sanctuary of Thoughts, The Refuge of Abandoned Madonnas, and The Madonna of the Snow Rectangle. Each place in this circuit contributes in its own way to a common goal, that of stimulating the visitor’s imagination and emotions.
Admission is free, every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Elisa Mazzini

Social Media Manager for @inEmiliaRomagna and full-time mom.

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