No more couch and smartphone: take your kids to visit maritime museums!


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Are you worried that our children will lose touch with what for millennia has been the wealth of our country, the sea? So instead of leaving them to rot on the couch with smartphone in hand, come up with a different weekend exploring maritime museums. You will awaken their interest and also learn something new. There are really many in Italy, many free, each with its own particularities. Using as our sources , we have selected for you the Italian maritime museums that a lover of the sea and navigation should visit at least once in a lifetime.

From the one in which to admire the only Phoenician ship that has come down to us to the one with the submarines, passing through those that tell of Columbus’ exploits and Leonardo’s canal-ports… (Excluded from the list are museums closed for restoration, such as the Barca Lariana on Lake Como or the Roman Ships in Fiumicino). Do you live far from the sea? Know that you will also find splendid marine-themed exhibits in the countryside of Turin or in Milan and Bologna–now you can make no excuses.


LA SPEZIA (LIGURIA) – Arsenal and Naval Technical Museum
The museum, adjacent to the Military Arsenal, includes about 9,000 pieces including 130 naval models, tools, instruments, charts, uniforms, flags, etc. Torpedoes, torpedoes and depth charges can be seen in the underwater weapons room. Admission to the museum is free, but a mandatory oblation of €1.55 is required in favor of the Andrea Doria Institute. HERE ALL THE INFO

GENOA (LIGURIA) – Galata Sea Museum
The three-story museum stands in the restored building that was developed on the structure originally erected for the Galleys’ shelter. Through models, equipment, large reconstructions (on a 1:1 scale that of the seventeenth-century Galley) and settings, the period of Galleys, Galleons and Vessels, Steamships up to modern Cruise Ships are illustrated. Plus Christopher Columbus, period paintings and a beautiful submarine, the Nazario Sauro… It’s one of the largest sea museums in Europe. Full price: 17 euros. HERE ALL THE INFO

GENOA (LIGURIA) Naval Museum of Pegli
The Renaissance villa of Giovanni Andrea Doria displays maritime collections related to Genoa and the Rivieras ranging from the 15th to the 19th century.
You can admire valuable maps, paintings, drawings, ship models, construction and navigation tools as well as “visit” the ancient shipyards and craft stores related to the maritime world. Significant evidence of material culture of Ligurian sailors and shipwrights. The full ticket costs 5 euros. HERE ALL THE INFO

CAMOGLI (GENOVA, LIGURIA) – Museo Civico Marinaro “Gio Bono Ferrari”
The museum collects models, memorabilia, prints, paintings, bottled ships, votive offerings, and documents that testify to the important seafaring tradition of this Paradise Gulf town. Admission is free. HERE ALL THE INFO

IMPERIA (LIGURIA) – Ponente Ligure International Naval Museum.
The museum collects about 130 models of ancient and modern ships, military and merchant vessels. Documents, memorabilia, maritime votive offerings, and paintings testify to the history of world seafaring. OPENING INFO HERE

The naval museum documents daily life at sea: the history of the Italian Navy, Naval activities from the Unification of Italy to the present, the Marine environment, and model ships. The museum is embedded in the history of Carmagnol culture because of its ancient connection with rope making. Admission costs 2 euros. HERE ALL THE INFO

MILAN (LOMBARDY) – National Museum of Science and Technology
The Naval Museum presents the technical evolution of ancient and modern ships, merchant and military; pleasure boats, equipment, weapons, instruments and infrastructure. The exhibition also includes numerous ship models and the large submarine Enrico Toti. Full admission: 10 euros. HERE ALL THE INFO

TRIESTE (FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA) – Civic Museum of the Sea.
The museum provides an overview of the maritime history of Trieste and its shipyards, with ship and engine construction. Tells about Adriatic fishing and Mediterranean and ocean navigation. An interesting room dedicated to Joseph Ressel, inventor of the naval propeller. Admission is free. HERE ALL THE INFO

VENICE (VENETO) – Naval History Museum
It is an important museum that tells the thousand-year history of the Serenissima. There are hundreds of memorabilia, models, papers, equipment. There are weapons and figureheads. A beautiful model of the Bucintoro and those of numerous 16th-century galleons can be seen. Full admission: 5 euros. HERE ALL THE INFO

The museum, the only one of its kind in Italy, in addition to the collections displayed in the pavilion in the land section, also has a floating section. It is precisely this section that fascinated the very talented ship modeler Luigi Vanetti. Vanetti first built the boats, moored in the canal port designed by Leonardo Da Vinci, which include the types most commonly used in the Upper Adriatic between the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, and then reproduced the entire canal. Admission costs 2 euros. HERE ALL THE INFO

BOLOGNA (EMILIA ROMAGNA) – Museum of Ships and Ancient Maps.
Inside the historic Palazzo Poggi, nine models of ships from the 17th and 18th centuries made with great precision and attention to detail can be admired. There is also a model of a brulotto, a large boat that, loaded with incendiary material, was sent toward enemy ships. Admission is free. HERE ALL THE INFO

NEMI (ROME, LAZIO) – Museum of Ships.
The museum contained the hulls of two large ships recovered in Lake Nemi between 1927 and 1932, along with the hulls of other smaller vessels. During the last war a devastating fire destroyed much of the material. Today it is reopened with two reduced reproductions in place of the original ships. The entrance fee (full price) costs 3 euros. HERE ALL THE INFO

The Museo del Mare was founded in 1988 as a result of the long and passionate efforts of Washington Patrignani (1915-1999), a retired professor and scholar of naval history and technology, who collected for years from fishermen the objects they kept in their yards or on their boats. His idea is to create a museum of seafaring civilization that illustrates the daily life of the sea and the work of the shipyards through the tools, clothes, pictures, and lugger. Free admission. HERE ALL THE INFO

Art collections, maps, ship models, and period instruments enrich what is, in fact, the only nautical museum in a city of ancient seafaring traditions. Full admission: 5 euros. HERE ALL THE INFO

MARSALA (TRAPANI, SICILY) – Museum of Capo Lilibeo
The museum houses the only Phoenician ship that has come down to us. It is a rowing ship of about 35 meters that is believed to have been part of the Carthaginian fleet defeated by the Romans in 241 BC. Full admission costs 4 euros. HERE ALL THE INFO

The museum is divided into five sections: historical section (in which two cannons from the Bourbon era, cast between 1781 and 1785, can be admired); photographic section (documenting the history of the ancient Via del Molo); section of maritime traditions and maritime objects (Nassa for fishing, Foghorn, Lampara); marine engine section (FIAT marine engine of the Submarine Medusa, 1909); and naval model section (scale reproductions of Sicilian military xebecs, galleys and gunboats). In addition, there are portolans, original books that contained technical directions for safe landing in various ports. Free-will admission. HERE ALL THE INFO



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