Changes have been announced for the coming year regarding the free admissions to museums. There will be 20 free days a year but not necessarily the first Sunday. For ages 18--25 admission is reduced to encourage younger people to visit museums. On a national level there will be week free this coming March ending on Sunday March 10th beginning the prior Tuesday. Says this will prevent overcrowding at some of the more popular sites (mentioned the Colosseum).
We have always make it a point to skip "Free Days" because of the huge local presents on those days. Crowd are bad enough without throwing in the free day option that only makes it multi times worse.
Thank you for this information.
My experience is that over-crowding on free days varies by museum. For example, the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens in Florence are so big that they rarely feel crowded, and the National Museum in Rome has never been crowded when I've visited on a free Sunday. By contrast, very popular sights like the Uffizi and Colosseum are always terribly crowded. Visitors on a free days should also keep in mind that some museums close certain rooms or sections in order to route the larger crowds more efficiently.