Naval Historical Museum
Italian Naval History Museum
Riva S. Biasio, Castello 2148, 30122 Venice (Actv waterbus: Lines 1, 4.1, 4.2, Stop: Arsenale)
The museum belongs to the Italian Navy who manages it as an exhibition area of historical memory: " ... to emphasise how audacious the Italian naval spirit was in every age," (Royal Decree 1919). A fifteenth-century building, which used to be the “Granary” of the Venetian Republic, at Campo San Biagio, next to the Arsenale is home to the Naval History Museum. Part of the complex is still under the jurisdiction of the Italian Navy. It is the most important museum of its kind in Italy. Other than the main building whose exhibition area covers 5 floors with a total of 42 rooms, the Ships Pavilion, which is located in the former “oar workshops” of the Arsenale forms part of the museum as well.
Residents of Venice can buy entrance tickets at a preferential price simply by showing a valid identity card directly at the museum’s ticket office proving their residency.
Free entrance for both disabled people and those accompanying them (in order to access the pavilion there are three steps, there is no ramp but the security personnel are available to help those who might have difficulty).
Rio dell’Arsenale, Castello 2162 c, 30122 Venice (next to Arsenale bridge)
The building, once the “oar workshop” that now houses part of the collection of vessels of the Naval History Museum of Venice, consists of three wings arranged in a series, and a fourth, similar in size, that is perpendicular to the former. The building was constructed in the mid-sixteenth century to serve as an oar workshop and depot. Shortly after its completion in 1577, it was temporarily adapted as the head office of the Great Council of Venice, the main government body of the city, following the disastrous fire that had destroyed much of Palazzo Ducale and had made it uninhabitable for a long time. The rooms essentially retained their function of specialist oar joinery, supported by a very busy workshop and storage areas, until the mid-nineteenth century. Following the reorganisation of the Arsenale, which began after 1866 when Venice was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy, the premises were used as storehouses and workshops by the military engineer corps. At that time, the roofing was restored, with the introduction of an interesting two-way system of iron beams integrating the wooden trusses of the roof. Since 1980, the oar workshop areas have been known by the name of the “Ships Pavilion”, which is an extension of the Museum’s main building and houses vessels of great historical importance.
Buy the tickets:
- on line on Venezia Unica website;
- on site by Venezia Unica ticket offices.