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Museums in Italy - statistics & facts

As estimated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), there were approximately 95 thousand museums worldwide as of May 2020, most of which were situated in North America and Western Europe. In Italy, the number of museums, galleries, archaeological sites, and similar cultural institutions reached 4,880. Additionally, while the number of state museums increased from 2000 to 2020, most of the cultural institutions in the country were private. When looking at the Italian regions with the highest number of museums and similar institutions, Tuscany came out on top, followed by Emilia-Romagna, and Lombardy. Meanwhile, the majority of public museums could be found in Lazio and Campania as of 2019.

Museum attendance and income during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

In Italy, public museums are cultural institutions managed by the Italian Ministry of Culture, otherwise known as Ministero della Cultura (MiC). Meanwhile, private museums are institutions managed by either private entities or public entities other than the MiC. Italian private museums welcomed more than 74.5 million visitors prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2019. Post-pandemic, many institutions saw a sharp decline in attendance. This was the case for the total number of visitors to state museums, monuments, and archaeological sites in Italy, which reached around 13.3 million in 2020, dropping from nearly 55 million in 2019. Similarly, the number of visitors to the archaeological park of the Colosseum in Rome – one of the most visited museums In Italy – decreased by over 6.5 million from 2019 to 2020.

With the decrease in attendance came a decline in revenue. While the Colosseum topped the list of the tourist attractions generating the highest income in Italy in 2020, it lost nearly 49 million euros when compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, the income of state museums in Italy amounted to roughly 52 million euros in 2020, after having peaked at over 242 million euros in 2019.

Online presence and digitalization

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced museums and cultural institutions worldwide to make the most out of digital tools. But how are Italian cultural institutions in particular facing the challenges of the digital era? As of February 2020, roughly 40 percent of museums in Italy digitalized at least half of their collections. Moreover, a survey conducted in 2020 revealed that 85 percent of Italian museums and similar institutions had a website. That being said, not all institutions that were online also owned a website, as in some cases they relied on single pages or entire sites within other institutional websites. Looking at social media usage, most museums in Italy had a Facebook account in 2020, whereas Instagram was used by less than half of such institutions. Similarly, when considering the average number of posts published on social media by museums, Instagram was used less than both Facebook and Twitter from December 2019 to April 2020.

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Museums in Italy

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Museums in Italy - statistics & facts

As estimated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), there were approximately 95 thousand museums worldwide as of May 2020, most of which were situated in North America and Western Europe. In Italy, the number of museums, galleries, archaeological sites, and similar cultural institutions reached 4,880. Additionally, while the number of state museums increased from 2000 to 2020, most of the cultural institutions in the country were private. When looking at the Italian regions with the highest number of museums and similar institutions, Tuscany came out on top, followed by Emilia-Romagna, and Lombardy. Meanwhile, the majority of public museums could be found in Lazio and Campania as of 2019.

Museum attendance and income during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

In Italy, public museums are cultural institutions managed by the Italian Ministry of Culture, otherwise known as Ministero della Cultura (MiC). Meanwhile, private museums are institutions managed by either private entities or public entities other than the MiC. Italian private museums welcomed more than 74.5 million visitors prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2019. Post-pandemic, many institutions saw a sharp decline in attendance. This was the case for the total number of visitors to state museums, monuments, and archaeological sites in Italy, which reached around 13.3 million in 2020, dropping from nearly 55 million in 2019. Similarly, the number of visitors to the archaeological park of the Colosseum in Rome – one of the most visited museums In Italy – decreased by over 6.5 million from 2019 to 2020.

With the decrease in attendance came a decline in revenue. While the Colosseum topped the list of the tourist attractions generating the highest income in Italy in 2020, it lost nearly 49 million euros when compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, the income of state museums in Italy amounted to roughly 52 million euros in 2020, after having peaked at over 242 million euros in 2019.

Online presence and digitalization

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced museums and cultural institutions worldwide to make the most out of digital tools. But how are Italian cultural institutions in particular facing the challenges of the digital era? As of February 2020, roughly 40 percent of museums in Italy digitalized at least half of their collections. Moreover, a survey conducted in 2020 revealed that 85 percent of Italian museums and similar institutions had a website. That being said, not all institutions that were online also owned a website, as in some cases they relied on single pages or entire sites within other institutional websites. Looking at social media usage, most museums in Italy had a Facebook account in 2020, whereas Instagram was used by less than half of such institutions. Similarly, when considering the average number of posts published on social media by museums, Instagram was used less than both Facebook and Twitter from December 2019 to April 2020.

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