Today was a bit exciting for me as Adell and I wandered the streets of Venice looking for the Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia. (Location) I had the address (S. Croce 1730 â€“ 30135 VENEZIA -Â tel. (+39) 0412750206 ) and had a general idea where to find it based on Google maps but, once we got walking through the streets and over canal bridges and down vias that dead-ended at the Grand Canal, it became obvious that our tourist map was less than adequate. Once we reached a spot where I thought the museum should be, I stopped and asked a nearby gondolier for directions and he pointed along the canal to a building only a few doors away. What luck! We had found the museum!
I am always interested in visiting natural history museums, Adell less so, she prefers art galleries :-). On this occasion, we were here to see Venice’s newest museum because they had requested the use of one of my photos for one of their exhibit areas, and that added a bit to the excitement of the moment. The museum itself had been planned for about 15 years and had finally opened in the Spring of 2011. It is located in a building that fronts onto the Grand Canal but is entered through a court yard off one of the streets that borders one of the smaller canals.
Inside, the museum is nicely designed for easy viewing of the exhibits. For the most part, the exhibits are of a static nature with plenty of examples of traditional collector types of exhibits ranging from pinned insects to a large trophy head exhibit.
Although some might object to the type of ‘collecting’ that has occurred in the past, such collections do play an important role in the identification of various species and the understanding of the habitats and conditions of the times.
The Museum has been able to assemble an impressive number of exhibits from private collections and those on display are in excellent condition. I was permitted to photograph the exhibits but without flash.Â Lighting conditions in the Museum are more than adequate for normal human viewing but tough to photograph in the subdued lighting.
On the lower level, the Museum had an operational aquarium housing various species native to the area. Although the aquarium was not huge by North American standards for aquarium displays, it added a nice touch and provided a glimpse at the ecosystem of the Venice area waters. In addition to the number of fish, the rocks were covered with a heavy growth of a branched red-brown macro algae, a number of sea cucumbers crawled over the substrate while fan worms opened up to filter their food from the water column.