Continuing my series of blog posts about lesser-visited corners of Venice brings me to the Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia.
The Museum is in the Santa Croce district of Venice, situated on the Grand Canal, directly opposite the San Marcuola-Casinó vaporetto stop. It is a relatively short walk from the Rialto Bridge, but it can be found with more confidence coming from the direction of the railway station.
Here are my directions. From the Ferrovia, cross the Ponte degli Scalzi and take the first turning on the left. Cross a small footbridge, and carry straight on. Resist the temptation to take a left turn down to the Grand Canal… no, what the hell, you’ve got plenty of time, and any of the left-hand turns (although ultimately dead-ends) lead to beautiful views across the Grand Canal to the Canareggio Canal, and are pretty thinly touristed.
Once you are viewed out––or, in my case, have taken the opportunity of the break to consume a slice of (entire) pizza, which I had bought cheaply en route––return to your original route and keep straight on. I say straight on; the path itself is a fairly zigzaggy one but, for Venice, the route to the Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia is a remarkably direct one. For half of the distance, there are even helpful signs pointing the way. Trust me, keep straight on and you will find it, although by Venice-numbers, relatively few people ever do.
The Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia is a haven of peace and antiquity, housed in a stunning 13th century palazzo. There are tantalising glimpses of the Grand Canal from the Museum’s windows, but there is no access to the canal from here.
Now, I am not a big one for studious contemplation; I am more about the overall impact than the minute detail, which is just as well, because the Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia has not gone to town on captioning its exhibits. Rooms of exotic curios refreshingly present themselves without recourse to excessive explanation.
I am equally happy to wander in the galleries devoted to fossils; to big game trophies; to African anthropology: happy, simply because I can wander blissfully unhurried and uncrowded.
© E. C. Glendenny
E. C. Glendenny seldom gets bored of her own company.