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“Amazing experience for 1.55 €” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Naval History Museum & Arsenale

Naval History Museum & Arsenale
Riva S. Biasio Castello, 2148, 30122 Venice, Italy (Castello)
+39 041 244 1399
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Ranked #41 of 350 things to do in Venice
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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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.
Prague, Czech Republic
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Amazing experience for 1.55 €”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

The musems consists of 3 floors, leading you from the very beggining of Venice's naval history up until now. Lots of breathtaking items, make sure to make around 1.5 hours of free time to enjoy the atmosphere. It was truly amazing experience for ridiculously low price - 1.55 € per adult.

Visited May 2013
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London, United Kingdom
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14 reviews 14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“The story of a city wedded to the sea”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

It's easy to come to Venice and just be dazzled by its stunning architecture and art, without thinking about what made that all possible. Everything in Venice is linked to the sea, and its power and wealth flowed from its civil fleets and the warships that protected them and controlled the trade routes. The Arsenale was more than just a dockyard, it was a vast production line which could turn out ships on an industrial scale, and which was the wonder of Europe in its day, but all that has vanished now, and while crowds flock to the main tourist attractions in the city, comparatively few make their way down to the Arsenale site, and the Naval Historical Museum.

The entrance to the Arsenale is impressive, but the site itself cannot currently be visited, so to get an idea of the crucial role that it and ships and boats in general played in Venetian history, you need to visit the Museum. At less than 2 Euros, frankly it's a real bargain, and with some real gems. True, the collection is an eclectic one, and includes plenty of material that is not specific to Venice, from WWII two man miniature submarines to what must be one of the world's leading collections of Chinese junk models. You might also want to skip the extensive collection of models of Italian liners, unless that is your particular interest. So what makes it worth spending time there?

The answer, in a word, is models. Not just an amazing collection of ship models, although that includes a huge one of the last Doge's barge, gilded from stem to stern, but models of the technology that was used to build, launch, service and salvage ships, and even of fortifications in the territories that Venice controlled. There are astonishingly detailed maps of the Arsenale complex, giving an idea of the sheer scale of activities there, and much more besides. If all you see of Venice is palaces and paintings, you're only getting half the picture.

Nowhere in Venice is very far from anywhere else, and it is a pleasant stroll along the Giudecca canal to the Arsenale and Museum, while cutting through the back streets takes you through quieter areas of the city which are a pleasant contrast to the packed city centre. Be selective about what you see in the Museum, and it will well repay the time spent on a visit.

Visited April 2013
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Manchester
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“All things boats and sea related”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

Room after room, and floor after floor of all things naval and boat related, and all for the ridiculously cheap price of €1.55. I'm not particularly a naval person but this museum floated my boat with its range of items, from model boats, uniforms, guns, gondolas, and even a room of seashells. Recommended if you want some time out from the hot sun and tourists.

Visited April 2013
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Mountain west
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Nice place away from crowds”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

This museum is enough off the beaten path to provide a quieter respite from the main tourist hangouts. Another plus is the walk through the surrounding neighborhoods where "real" Venetians live. An enjoyable diversion.

Visited April 2013
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Hamilton, Canada
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Real doges' boats!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

This museum is really inexpensive so you don't mind skipping (what I thought were) the boring bits. I loved the large wooden relief maps of the Mediterranean. Loved seeing, rather than simply imagining, the doges' boat. It gave us a real sense of life in Venice at the height its glory. Also enjoyed the Viking artifacts. It also took us to a different - lovely - part of Venice. Away from the madding crowd.

Visited October 2012
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