The Naval History Museum is one of those Venice museums that give you a good glimpse into the city's history. Once a regional superpower, the Venetian Republic had a robust naval base. This museum exhibits all essential items from that time and brilliantly showcases the city's military past.
Getting to the museum
When looking at the Venice map, you'll find the Naval History Museum in Castello. It's close to the Arsenal, a former naval base, and a current exhibition hall for the Venice Biennale. The museum stands on Campo San Biagio, only 2 minutes from the Arsenale vaporetto stop.
History of the museum
The Naval History Museum opened in 1919. The 15th-century building housing the museum was once the Granary of the Republic. The Ships Pavilion, located nearby, is also part of the exhibition. Its construction finished in 1577. Shortly after, the building became a temporary office of the Great Council of Venice. It was due to the destructive fire that severely damaged the Doge's Palace, the original seat of the government. Today, part of the museum belongs to the Italian Navy.
Why you should visit
If you're a history buff, the collection of the Naval History Museum will impress you. The main building of the museum features 5 floors and 42 exhibition rooms. It contains ship models which survived from the time of the Serenissima Republic. You'll find these items in an area called Casa dei Modelli. One extraordinary artifact you can't miss is the Bucintoro. It's an 1837 model of the Doge's ceremonial ship, once the symbol of the Republic's military power. The boat, covered in gold, is indeed a fantastic sight. There are also Venetian vessels from the occupation period of 1797-1866. Naturally, the museum is home to both old and modern models of the Italian Navy. In addition, you can see models of ships from other countries, like fishing boats from China.
Things to do in the area
The area around the Naval History Museum is famous due to the Venice Biennale. Here you will find the already mentioned Arsenal and the beautiful Giardini della Biennale. There are also a few prominent Venice churches nearby. You can explore Chiesa della Pietà, San Zaccaria, and San Francesco della Vigna. Walk further into the Castello district and find San Pietro di Castello. From the museum, you can walk through Riva degli Schiavoni and reach the famous San Marco. It is a historic center of Venice where you'll find all the best Venice attractions. We are talking about St Mark's Square, Basilica di San Marco, and the Doge's Palace. Remember to plan your route with our interactive Venice map.
Wed-Mon: 11:00 - 17:00