18 – Museo Storico Navale di Venezia

18 – Museo Storico Navale di Venezia. Founded in 1919, it is located close to the Arsenale; in one of the old granaries of Venice. 

It is the most important museum of its kind in Italy and part of the complex, is still under the jurisdiction of the Italian Navy. 

The main building’s exhibition area, covers 5 floors with a total of 42 rooms. However, close by and forming part of the museum complex, is the “Ships Pavilion”; which is located in the former oar workshops of the Arsenale.

  • Historic naval museum 
  • Both life-size and scale model vessels
  • Cost: €10,00 (adults), €7,50 (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours
  • Vaporetto Stop: Arsenale ( Line 1, 4.1, 4.2). By foot, 10 minute walk along the Riva degli Schiavoni; east from Piazza San Marco   


Museo Storico Navale di VeneziaMuseo Storico Navale di Venezia










Museo Storico Navale di Venezia

The Historical Naval Museum of Venice founded in 1919, is located close to the Arsenale; in one of the old granaries of Venice. Its collections recall those made under the Venetian Republic, when ship-builders models were kept in the Arsenal, in a special building called  the “Casa dei Modelli” (Archive of the Models).

Scale models were used instead of drawn plans; for building the vessels. Some of these old models survived the ransacking of the Arsenale, in 1797 and are now kept in the museum. Here Venetian Ships and Boats are exhibited, as well as models of ships built in the Arsenale, during the French and Austrian occupation (1797-1866) and old and current models of the Italian Navy.

The variety of the exhibited models goes beyond the Venetian boundaries and it contains a huge collection of scale models of fishing boats; used in seas of China and the Far East. The most extraordinary model is the one of the “Bucintoro“, the Doge’s ceremony ship. Original relics coming from the sea-wars are also exhibited.

The museum also includes the Ship Pavilion, located close by; near to the Arsenal bridge.


Ships Pavilion

(Visits at fixed hours on Saturday and Sunday – max 25 people)

The building is located, on the Rio dell’Arsenale, next to the Arsenale Bridge. The building that was once the “oar workshop”, now houses part of the collection of vessels of the Naval History Museum of Venice. It consists of three wings arranged in a series and a fourth, similar in size; that is perpendicular to the former; covering a ​​two thousand square metre area. Examples of Venetian boats on display are; ancient ceremonial gondolas, working lagoon boats and military ships.

The Pavilion 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. This followed a disastrous fire, that had destroyed much of Palazzo Ducale and had made it uninhabitable for a long period.

Museo Storico Navale di Venezia








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”; an extension of the Museum’s main building and houses vessels of great historical importance.



TOP 25 MUSEUMS. Select your museum and click on the link below:

1 – Palazzo Ducale (The Doge’s Palace)

2 – Peggy Guggenheim Collection

3 – Ca’ Pesaro

4 – The Correr Museum

5 – Galleria dell’Accademia

6 – Scuola Grande di San Rocco

7 – San Servolo Insane Asylum Museum

8 – Palazzo Grassi (Francois Pinault Collection)

9 – Museo Fortuny

10 – Leonardo da Vinci Museum

11 – Fondazione Querini Stampalia

12 – Museo del Vetro

13 – Museo del Merletto

14 – Punta della Dogana

15 – Casa di Carlo Goldoni

16 – Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia 

17 – Museo Palazzo Mocenigo

18 – Museo Storico Navale di Venezia (not linked)

19 – Museo della Musica

20 – Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova

21 – Museo di San Marco

22 – Museo Ebraico di Venezia

23 – Palazzo Cini

24 – Museo Provinciale di Torcello

25 – Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Venezia


Links (internalexternal

Official Website of the Naval Historical Museum 

***Please check opening times and prices online.

Naval Historical Museum –  Riva San Biagio –  Castello 2148 – Venice

Venice Ships Pavilion – Rio della Tana Castello – 2162 c, Venice (close to the Arsenal bridge)

Opening hours: Naval Historical Museum * from 11:00 to 17:00  Closed on Tuesdays Special openings: Tuesday 19 April 2022  Tuesday 31 May 2022 Tuesday 1 November 2022 * Entrance with reduced ticket. The Ships Pavilion is temporarily closed _

Tickets: Full price : 10.00 euro  Reduced: 7.50 euro, children aged from 6 to 14.

Further concessions: Students aged from 15 to 25; over 65; holders of Muve Friend Card Schools: 4.00 euro (a list of the students’ names must be provided by the school, valid also for coordinators) Residents: 1.55 euro Free entrance: staff of the Ministry of Defence; people with disabilities; children under 6 years old; ANMI; ICOM members _ Info and bookings Groups info: education@fmcvenezia.it Groups reservations > www.veneziaunica.it  >

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.


To widen your experience and enjoyment before visiting, please see my comprehensive and illustrated posts, linked below:

Castello – District and Attractions

The Arsenal of Venice

The Gondolas of Venice 

The Castellani and Nicolotti  (Fascinating tale of the two feuding working class gangs of Venice. The eastern Castellani, were drawn mostly from Arsenal workers, whilst the Nicolotti, on the other hand; were concentrated in western districts, where fishing was their main occupation). 

Venetian Gardens  (Venice’s largest public garden space, close to the Arsenale, is the “Giardini”. Both sites are home to the famous Venice Biennale Festival events, of Art, Architecture, Music and Dance).



18 – Museo Storico Navale     18 – Museo Storico Navale    18 – Museo Storico Navale

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