The goal of running museums as enterprises is one of today's most highly debated issues, along with the recognition of cultural sector power to contribute, directly and indirectly, to the economic and social development. Almost all countries have implemented their own politics and measures to achieve this objective. Despite efforts made to that end, museums are still far from being an economic resource. In the Italian experience too, different paths have been followed in order to reach this aim, but none of them has proved fully satisfactory. The route towards museums as enterprises tackled the complexity and variety of size, types and geographic locations of Italian museums and, above all, it faced the key role played by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, as the sole apparatus in charge for heritage preservation needs and policies. This essay wants to summarize the different provisions enacted so far, by surveying also "what has been done" and "what has to be done" in order to accomplish this aim.