Civic Museum of Natural History

Fondaco dei TurchiThe Natural History museum is located on the Grand Canal, on the so called Fontego dei Turchi. It is one of the most famous civic buildings in Venice.  It contains a great number of naturalistic and ethnographical collections, a centre for studies on the lagoon and a rich library.

The building, dating from the XII-XIII centuries, was an emporium and commercial centre for Turkish merchants in Venice till 1838, when it was purchased and restored by the city of Venice so as to make it the lodging of the Correr Museum.  But in 1922, the art and history collections where transported to St Mark’s square and, on the fontego, there remained only the naturalistic and ethnographic ones. 
In 1923 the Natural History Museum was established, and important collections from the Veneto Institute of Science, literature and Arts were added to the previous ones.  The museum was opened to public only from 1928.

The museum hosts numerous zoological collections, amongst which are birds, insects, shellfish, and botanical.
There are ancient herbariums, the algarium and a mycological collection, also displays on plants and fossilized fish originally from Bolca, the most famous Italian fossil deposit in the world.  Its findings go back 50 millions years.
Amongst the 1800s collections, apart from minerals, there are anatomic mixes. 
The most recent acquisitions are the famous collection of the palaeontologist and ethnologist Giancarlo Ligabue.  The Museum also offers monitoring and inquiry activities on the lagoon and its fauna, and a detailed library.

Useful Information

Santa Croce 1730 Fondaco dei Turchi
Times: Museum from Tuesday to Friday  9.00a.m.-1.00p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 10.00a.n.-4.00p.m.. Closed on: Mondays, 1st May, Christmas and New Year’s. Library Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8.30a.m. - 1.30p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 8.30a.m. - 1 and 1.30p.m. – 5.00p.m.. Closed on: Saturday, Sunday and holidays.
Entrance:  free
Services easy access, didactic activities, library and lab
Telephone Number: 0412750206
Fax: 041721000


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