I always research our vacations way ahead of time, and it has resulted in better trips.
For Italy, I found out that the Uffizi museum has a Friends of the Uffizi membership that gives entry to many of the museums there. Best of all, it allows you to jump the line and walk past all the tourists who just show up with no ticket or reservation. WOOT! And, it gives multiple re-entry! I love that because there is only so much museum I can take at one time. This way, we can take a lunch break and then go back in if we want to.
The museum mailed the passes to me, and the envelope was plastered with beautiful stamps. Here's a photo: