Given the huge role that Arsenale dockyard had in the development of Venice as a medieval force to be reckoned with, and that until the second world war the city was still Italy’s most important naval base, there are few signs that would alert the casual visitor to this element in her history.

The great dock is closed for most of the year (only opening when it is used during the Biennale) so for the rest of the time, you have to visit the Museo Storico Navale (Naval History Museum) nearby, a fairly anonymous building which is certainly no Greenwich.

Naval personnel were thin on the ground too.  I don’t think this guy really counts…



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