The Venice Historical Ship Museum (Museo Storico Navale) is located in the sestiere Castello and showcases the history of this former maritime power. The massive exhibition occupies 42 rooms. Naturally, there is a prominent place for the gondolas. The entrance fee of this maritime museum includes a visit to the Padiglione delle Navi.
Ship Museum Venice (Padiglione delle Navi)
Address, opening times and admission
The address of the Museo Storico Navale is Riva San Biagio 2148 (tel: +39 0412441399). Vaporetto: Arsenale. Opening times: Monday to Friday from 08.30 to 13.30. On Saturday they close already at 13.00. Sunday closed. Entrance fee: 10 Euro. The ticket includes a visit to the Padiglione delle Navi.
History and description
It is only since 1958 that the museum, considered among the best of its kind, has been housed in this former granary. The history of the museum began in 1815 when the then Austrian rulers of the city decided to build a collection of the historic ship models built in the Arsenal. Soon other objects were added, including a model of the Doge’s ceremonial boat.
The two huge anchors next to the entrance were captured from the Austrians during World War I.
In the torpedo room on the first floor, there is a low-speed torpedo that was used in World War II and was manually controlled by divers.
One entire hall is dedicated to Angelo Erno. This 18th century admiral tried to restore the Arsenale and with it the Venetian navy.
Francesco Morosini, who was famous in the 17th century for driving the Turks out of the Peloponnese, but also for having the Parthenon in Athens bombed in 1687 and causing great damage to this famous monument, has one room to himself.
In 1571, the “Holy Fleet,” which included the Venetian Navy, defeated their Turkish rivals at the Battle of Lepanto. An entire hallway is dedicated to this naval battle.
The already mentioned ceremonial boat of the Doge, the Bucintoro, occupies a whole room of the museum. The boat was only used on Ascension Day, when the Doge threw a ring into the water as a symbol of the unity between his city and the sea.
On the third floor, the focus is on the non-military boats, including, of course, the gondola. One of the gondolas that can be viewed was owned by Peggy Guggenheim, who left the vessel to the museum after her death.
On the fourth floor, in addition to a number of Swedish boats, there is a large collection of seashells, some of which are extraordinarily large.