Museo Storico Navale
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Padiglione delle Navi
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Museo Storico Navale information
Lonely Planet review
Maritime madness spans 42 rooms at this museum of Venice's seafaring history, featuring scale models of Venetian-built vessels as well as Peggy Guggenheim's not-so-minimalist gondola. On the ground floor, ‘the barn’, you’ll find sprawling galleries of fearsome weaponry and 17th-century dioramas of forts and ports. Upstairs you can gawk at a sumptuous model of the bucintoro , the doge's gilded ceremonial barge, destroyed by Napoleonic troops in 1798.
Although the minutiae of some of the exhibits will mostly be of interest to enthusiasts and specialists, the display illustrates the incredible span of Venetian power across the Adriatic and Mediterranean over the centuries. In addition, the 2nd floor covers Italian naval history and memorabilia, from unification to the present day, and on the 3rd floor is a room devoted to gondolas, including Peggy Guggenheim's pimped-up ride.
The ticket also gets you entrance to the Padiglione delle Navi , though at writing it was only open for special exhibitions. Of the many boats on display here, the most eye-catching is the Scalé Reale, an early-19th-century ceremonial vessel used to ferry King Vittorio Emanuele to Piazza San Marco in 1866 when Venice joined the nascent Kingdom of Italy. The ship last set sail in 1959, when it brought the body of the Venetian Pope Pius X to rest at the Basilica di San Marco