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“Wonderful museum a little away from the crowds”

Naval History Museum Venice
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Venetian Ships Pavilion and the Castello District
Ranked #80 of 604 things to do in Venice
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Not for land-lubbers: this museum has filled its four floors with interesting maritime objects, including the banners that were flown by the Venetian fleet at Lepanto.
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
46 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Wonderful museum a little away from the crowds”
Reviewed 12 July 2014

Very interesting museum within a pleasant walk along the Grand Canal from Piazza San Marco (in the direction of the Lido) but far enough away to feel removed from the crowds. The nearest vaporetto stop is Arsenale, but we elected to get off at the Giardini stop further from San Marco and enjoy a nice stroll along the canal backtracking to the museum which is entered from the Grand Canal side of the building.

The collection spans several floors accessed by stairs near the entrance and the museum was larger inside than we expected from its outward appearance. Displays span numerous eras including from the early history of Venice through the Austrian, WW2, and more recent eras. Display descriptions are primarily in Italian with labels also in English and some English translations of some of the more detailed descriptions.

We enjoyed the two hours we spent here and felt like we walked past many displays that could have captured much more extensive interest by naval history buffs. There’s so much here that we likely walked past some very significant pieces as we browsed and some additional orientation materials might have been helpful to help those of us without a detailed preconception of Venetian naval history to appreciate better the significance of some of the collection. We were awed, for example, by the decorative remnants of the last bucintoro ceremonial state galley (used in the “marriage of the sea” ceremonies by Venetian doges) that had been saved from Napoleon’s destruction in 1798.

The museum is closed by early afternoon and on Sundays so check beforehand when planning your visit (http://www.marina.difesa.it/EN/history/museums/Pagine/museostoriconavale.aspx). Unfortunately the adjoining Arsenale itself is closed to the public except from some special events, as it remains an active Italian Navy base. Free lockers are provided for storing bags. This excellent museum is well worth a visit for an appreciation of Venice’s historical ties to the sea and naval power that once made it one of the most powerful cities in the world.

Visited June 2014
2 Thank run2sea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
178 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Low Cost and No Crowds”
Reviewed 6 July 2014

Venice's history is based upon maritime power. This museum showed both military and civilian displays, including old weapons, warships, and the history of gondolas. If you're a naval buff, you could spend hours in this museum. There were four floors with lots of artifacts. Even if naval history isn't your thing, you could at least spend 1-2 hours here and find something of interest. Full price admission was around 1.5 Euro per person, and discounted admission is half as much (Rolling Venice card qualifies). This seems to be off the beaten Venice tourist path - if nothing else a great place to escape the crowds and heat for a few hours. Just a short walk from San Marco Square.

Visited April 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
much travelled Canadian
Level Contributor
90 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“A gem of a museum”
Reviewed 1 July 2014

Since Venice was world naval power you will want to see this museum. They have a replica of the Doge's ceremonial boat as well as Peggy Guggeneheim's personal gondola. The floors are well laid out with English translations. Even if the final floor is not of interest make the effort as there is a great exhibit of sea shells.

Visited June 2014
3 Thank travellingcanadian_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waltham Abbey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
238 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
“oUR VISIT ON 25.06.14”
Reviewed 27 June 2014

This museum is well worth a visit for anybody interested in history. It has excellent models,maps,works of art and information on ships and military constructions dating back to Roman times, up to the 2nd world war and beyond.Most of the displays have english information provided but some items did not which was a shame.

Visited June 2014
Thank alan c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kelowna, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“A definite must!”
Reviewed 14 June 2014

Excellent!! Be sure to check out the maps, especially the detailed one that shows the layout of the Arsenale. Every room has a treasure that will keep even the non-navy type interested. Allow at least 2 hours.

Visited June 2014
Thank Anne E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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