The Scalé Reale is the most impressive craft on display

©Jo-Ann Titmarsh/Lonely Planet

Padiglione delle Navi


The Padiglione delle Navi is a vast 2000-sq-metre warehouse containing a fabulous collection of model historic boats, including typical Venetian luggers, gondolas, racing boats, military vessels, a funerary barge and a royal motorboat. It's an annexe of the Museo Storico Navale.

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. It was last used in 1959, when it brought the body of the Venetian pope Pius X to rest at St Mark's.

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