While you can visit most tourist attractions and museums in Italy without a reservation, there are a few that you will want to book in advance to avoid long waits and a few where reservations are mandatory. These are the top sites and museums that you should buy tickets ahead for and where to buy them. By clicking on the link you'll find out more about each attraction. Most museum tickets can be bought on Select Italy.
If you want to see DaVinci's famous masterpiece, the Last Supper, in Santa Maria della Grazie church in Milan you'll need to book two to three months ahead. To help preserve the painting, a limited number of visitors are allowed to enter for a time period of 15 minutes only. Here's how to see the Last Supper. Last Supper tickets or guided tours can also be booked through Select Italy.
The Uffizi is one of the most important museums in the world for Italian art, especially the art of the Renaissance. It's one of Florence's most visited attractions and visitors without ticket reservations can spend a long time in line. See Uffizi Information and How to Buy Tickets or buy Uffizi Gallery tickets from Select Italy.
Palazzo Vecchio, Florence's city hall, is one of the city's most famous sights. Most of the medieval building is now a museum. Reservations to visit the interior of Palazzo Vecchio are mandatroy. Palazzo Vecchio Museum Information
Palazzo Vecchio can also be visited on a guided tour through Select Italy.
Rome's ancient Colosseum is one of the most visited sites in Rome and ticket lines can be very long. There are several ways to avoid the ticket line - see our Tips for Buying Rome Colosseum Tickets or buy a Colosseum and Forum pass in advance from Select Italy.
Rome's Borghese Museum is housed in the gorgeous Villa Borghese mansion in the Borghese Gardens. It houses masterful marble sculptures by Bernini among other treasures. To visit the museum, reservations are mandatory. See Museum and Ticket Information or buy Borghese Gallery tickets in advance through Select Italy.
The Vatican Museums, in Vatican City outside Rome, are a top attraction for visitors to Rome and Vatican City and entrance lines can be very long. The vast complex is the largest museum complex in the world and includes the famous Sistine Chapel. By buying tickets in advance or booking a tour you can skip the ticket line and get in quickly. Here's how to book tickets and tours for the Vatican Museums or buy advance tickets for the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel through Select Italy.
Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of Tuscany's top tourist attractions and it can be crowded, especially in summer when the wait to climb the tower can be as long as four hours. You can avoid the line by booking tickets ahead from Leaning Tower of Pisa online ticket office.
Visitors to the Doge's Palace in Venice can see more by booking the Secret Itineraries Tour, Itinerari Segreti, that includes parts of the palace that are off limits during the regular tour. On the tour, you'll enter secret passageways, prisons, and the Bridge of Sighs. The Secret Itineraries Tour is available only with a reservation. There are currently 3 English language tours a day. Tour and booking information or book Secret Itineraries of the Doge's Palace through Select Italy.
Reservations to see Vera Croce, True Cross, by Piero della Francesca are mandatory and can be purchased over the internet for a fee or when you arrive at the church. The frescoes are housed in the Cappella Bacci in Arezzo's San Francesco Church. Only 25 visitors are allowed in at a time and the visit lasts 30 minutes. Arezzo is in eastern Tuscany (see Tuscany map) and can be reached by train. You'll find San Francesco Church in the center of Arezzo. More about How to See Piero della Francesca Frescoes in Arezzo.
Palazzo Ducale in Mantova
Mantova's Palazzo Ducale was home to the Gonzaga family from the early 14th through early 18th centuries. It's a huge complex of palaces and basilicas that now has over 500 rooms including the fascinating Hall of Mirrors, Apartment of Paradise, a Zodiac Room, and the famous Camera degli Sposi with its majestic painted dome. Reservations are mandatory from Novermber through March and are recommended for visiting the Camera degli Sposi as a limited number of visitors are admitted. You can buy tickets and reservations through Select Italy. Also see our Mantova (Mantua) Travel Guide.
Giotto Frescoes in Padua
Reservations (at least 24 hours in advance) are mandatory to view the stunning, early 14th century frescoes by Giotto in Padua's Scrovegni Chapel. Only 25 people are allowed for each entrance and they can remain inside the chapel for 15 minutes. Visitors need to pick up their tickets in advance of their viewing time in order to be at the entrance 5 minutes ahead. After waiting in the air-conditioned waiting room, the visitors are all admitted together so that the doors open only once for each entrance (to keep the interior climate stable). See Scrovegni Chapel web site for ticket information, hours, and prices. Padua is in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy - see our Veneto map and can easily be visited as a day trip from Venice.