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Venice Travel: Don’t Forget the Museums

Selfie in Higher Council Hall - Doge Palace

You know me, I much rather be wandering outside then be indoors, but I’m also all about avoiding crowds as much as possible.

Turned out, in Venice, during Carnival it was very crowded outside, but the museums were basically empty. Ralph (co-worker who was the reason I ended up in Venice) recommended I get the Hello Venice card – better known as City Pass Venezia Unica, which you can order online before even leaving, and add everything you think you’ll need to it, to include all public transportation. Anyway, I didn’t get the card before leaving, but I did get it at the information desk at the airport. Well, not a card, but a voucher printout with a bar code that provided easy access to a long list of museums and churches. The “card” was a bit expensive, but I expected it to rain, so I wanted to have something to do to get the most out of my visit to Venice.

The second day, after breakfast, I decided to head out to the Island of Murano, which is renowned for it’s glass making, and where the Glass Museum is located. It was a cold ferry ride to Murano, but worth getting away from the crowds, and doing some exploring. I found myself going to a glass making/blowing demonstration, visiting the Church of Santa Maria e San Donato, followed by some more walking around…until I found the Glass Museums. I walked in, got my voucher scanned, and walk through the rooms learning the history of glass making, its impact in Europe but more specifically in Murano, over the centuries. After spending about an hour in the museum, I headed back out, walking in and out of shops selling a variety of glass works.

I found a place to have a late lunch before heading back to Venice.

Murano Island

Murano Island

Church of Santa Maria e San Donato

Church of Santa Maria e San Donato

On the way back, I got off at one of the ferry stops closed to the Arsenal. After reading the book I, Iago by Nicole Galland, I was curious about the place since Iago was stationed there while in Venice. From there, I took my time wondering around the side streets before making it back to my hotel.

ArsenalVenice Arsenal

The following day, it didn’t rain either, but it was insanely crowded…especially around Piazza San Marco, so imagine my surprise when I noticed there were absolutely no lines to enter Doge’s Palace!?! I broke out my voucher again, walked right in, and a quick scan later I was exploring the luxurious palace in awe. The palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the Republic of Venice, and the tour began by walking through where the political business of Venice was conducted. After visiting the armory, where a weapon’s fanatic can have a field day looking at the history of weapons, you eventually end up in the prison after walking the Bridge of Sighs.

Inside Dodge Palace

Bridge of Sighs - Ponte Dei Sospiri

Bridge of Sighs – Ponte Dei Sospiri

Doge Palace Prison

Took me awhile to get out of prison…it’s a bit confusing in there.

But once out, I looked at my voucher and decided to spend the rest of the day finding the museums, and exploring them. Following the museum pass took me all over Venice, getting on the ferry here and there, traveling the Grand Canal, and seeing probably much more of Venice than what I probably would have seen otherwise. It’s too easy to fall into the tourist traps…especially during Carnival.

The tour of Carlo Goldoni’s House, Ca’ Pesaro offered a look into what it might have been like to be a Venetian royalty in earlier centuries. The tour of the house through the richly decorated rooms helped me to imagine a life, we can now only imagine in our minds. The art work in the other part of the museum was quite extensive.

Venetian Life

The last day, after my run and breakfast, I decided to visit one more museum before heading to the airport. I went to the Museo Correr, which is right in Piazza San Marco. It was once more basically empty. A quick scan of my voucher again, and I was wondering from room to room. The most memorable part of the visit for me was all the globes, maps, and history of Venice’s former sea/Navy prowess.

Amazing Large Globes in Museo Correr

Amazing Large Globes in Museo Correr

Fra Mauro Map

Fra Mauro Map

I didn’t end up making it to all the museums, but those I did make it too were well worth it – with more time, I would have explored them all, and that says a lot since museums are not my thing!

How About You?

What museum(s) have you visited in Venice? Do you enjoy visiting museums to the new places you travel to? Leave a comment and tell me about it or contact Ann’s Adventure Tour Writer and Blogger here.