Galata Museo del Mare, Genoa Maritime Museum
The Galata Museo del Mare in Genoa is a maritime museum. one of the largest in Italy, located in the city’s old port area.
Part of the Genoa waterfront refurbishment project, the Galata Museo del Mare is one of the most important museums in the Mediterranean area dedicated to the millennial relationship between man and the sea.
Opened to the public in 2004, the museum’s building was designed by Spanish architect Guillermo Vazquez Consuegra on the site of a former shipyard dating back to the 15th century, thereafter converted into a dock area named after Istanbul’s neighborhood of Galata (hence the museum’s name), once a colony of the Republic of Genoa.
The museum overlooks a water basin into which the decommissioned military submarine Nazario Sauro is permanently moored and can be visited by the public.
Galata Museo del Mare maritime museum, Genoa; exterior view; foreground, the “Nazario Sauro” submarine permanently on display at the museum.
Spanning twenty-eight galleries on four levels, the permanent exhibition of the Galata presents the maritime history chronologically, from the 15th century to the present day.
The museum combines immersive multimedia installations with over 4,000 artifacts, including real-scale reconstructions of vessels, such as those of a 140-foot-long 17h century galley, a 19th-century schooner, and the deckhouse of an early 20th-century ocean liner.
The museum features exhibition galleries dedicated to various subjects related to maritime history, including those depicting the technical evolution of ships, the “ legendary” travels from Europe towards the Americas and the history of Italian diaspora, the life of Christopher Columbus (this section also features the world-famous portrait of Christopher Columbus by Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio), a gallery presenting rare historical atlases and globes, the interior of a 19th century British yacht decorated with about 120 maritime paintings, and an interactive room into which the visitors virtually experience stormy sea on board a lifeboat.
The Galata museum also includes a media library, a panoramic roof terrace, temporary exhibition spaces, a 99-seat auditorium, a conference facility, a bookshop, and a cafe. The museum is fully accessible to physically impaired people and provides assistive devices for people who are deaf or visually impaired.
The program of events and activities includes temporary exhibitions, guided tours, educational activities and workshops for children, and special events.
Real-scale reconstruction of a 19th-century schooner
Models of large sailships and galleons
The gallery dedicated to Christopher Columbus with the portrait of Columbus by Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio (ca. 1520)
Interior view of the real-scale reconstruction of a 17th-century galley
Historical and interactive maps of the old port of Genoa in the 16th century
Cover image: view of the Galata maritime museum in the old port of Genoa. All images courtesy of Galata Museo del Mare
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