Museo Storico Navale, Venice Italy

Venice is a city where one can wander with no set plans, and so it was with us. We happened upon a building with a huge anchor in front and letters high above the door reading: Museo Storico Navale. Museo could only mean museum (we hoped) so we walked in. Having fallen in love with Venice’s gondolas, we had no choice. Here is what we saw:[nggallery id=26]

High-ceilinged and on the dark side, this museum is not on a lot of visitors’ agendas. It was easy to move around, read the signs, and not feel rushed or crowded. The ceremonial vessels here are decorated to the hilt: Old ships and barges and real cannons of many sizes litter the floor. Eighteenth century vessels with elaborate carvings and gold leaf sit silent, while sails with marvelous designs reach towards the roof. There are portraits of famous Italian captains, paintings of ships, and maps dating to the sixteenth century.

We saw the symbol of Venice—a winged lion with a sword and a bible open to the words: Pax tibi Marce evangelista mdus, which translates “May peace be with you, Mark, my evangelist.

One needn’t be a boat lover to enjoy the museo’s history, the fine details, and the lavish look of ancient vessels.

Post and photos by Jim Shubin