Cornerstone of the control that Venice exercised for centuries over the seas, was its ability to build powerful and fast ships in a matter of days (if not hours). The secret of such excellence was the “Arsenale”, the industrial heart of the city! From 13th Century onwards. it is here that the best carpenters of the many Venetian “squeri” (the small town boatyards) were gathered in order to create a huge, highly efficient public shipyard. Behind the ramparts of the “Arzanà” (the only ones in the city) galleys, “galeazze” and most of the ships that made the Serenissima great came to light at impressive speed, anticipating the assembly line by more than 500 years!
Let us then go on a journey to discover this marvel of industry, walking along the walls of the Arsenale as far as its “Porta Magna”. Let us feast our eyes on the marble and stone trophies that here celebrate the naval victories of the Republic. We could then take a quick detour to the Naval History Museum, where we will retrace the stages of the Arsenale’s evolution from its genesis to the Napoleonic demise, up to its 19th Century rebirth. We will discuss the structure and life aboard the ships that made Venice the “Queen of the Seas”, without forgetting the most famous of all: the Bucintoro. We will then finish our tour with a walk through the charming Castello district, birthplace of the famous baroque musician Vivaldi and treasure-chest of many fascinating curiosities. Together we will enjoy the silence of hidden corners, basking in the dream-like atmosphere of one of the least-visited (but most authentic) quarters of the city!