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The tour
An extraordinary adventure to discover 600 years of life at sea

A glass and steel cladding designed by the Spanish architect Guillermo Vasquez Consuegra gives a new life to the oldest building in the Darsena area, the former arsenal of the Republic of Genoa, where galleys were built, armed and launched.

Galata Maritime Museum was opened in 2004, when Genoa was awarded European Capital of Culture. Today, this innovative and technological establishment is the largest maritime museum in the Mediterranean Sea.

But there’s more – the museum is outside, too! Here you can discover the Galata Open Air Museum.

GROUND FLOOR

At first glance, you’ll notice the new hall of the Galata, recently renovated, evoking the worlds of sea and navigation (see the box on the right). After the rooms dedicated to the Port of Genoa in the past and to Christopher Columbus, where some important documents and his famous portrait are on show, the visit goes on in the Darsena armoury and with a faithful 1:1 reconstruction of a 17th-century galley.
The galley is 40 metre long, has a 9-metre-tall stern, and can be explored to find out more about the life of its crew: slaves, convicts and the so-called buonavoglia, paid volunteers.

  • Galley
  • Armory

FIRST FLOOR

From here, you can see the deck of the galley from above; it ends with the so-called carrozza, which hosted the important passengers. A part of the exhibit evokes the arrival in Genoa of the galleys with chests full of silver, taken from the Spanish monarchy and brought to Andrea Doria. Then, you will admire valuable globes and ancient atlases, which can be looked up thanks to the multimedia stations, allowing to browse the maps drawn by the most famous cartographers of the 16th and 17th century. Finally, the Sea Monsters Room will bring to life the imaginary tales surrounding the sea, between wonder and fear.

 

  • Galley

SECOND FLOOR

Here you can see the original raft where Ambrogio Fogar and Mauro Mancini remained at the mercy of the ocean for 74 days, and then you will face a 4D storm on board a lifeboat.
You can have a look around in the navigation room and get on board a brigantine-schooner; after the historic shipyard and the carpentry, you will enter a late-19th-century Yacht Club, with the paintings of the Croce Collection.

  • Hall of the storm
  • Brigantine

THIRD FLOOR

You will put yourselves in a migrant’s shoes and get to know the history of Italian emigration and of recent immigration movements, thanks to reconstructions of different settings, photographs, videos, and interactive stations.
On the deck of a steamer, a ship simulator will make you live the exciting experience of manoeuvring a ship in the port of Genoa. Finally, the submariners’ school of the S518 Nazario Sauro will prepare you to visit the submarine.

  • MEM – Memory and Migration
  • Streamship

TERRACE

You will visit the most recent displays and, from the two terraces Coeclerici and Mirador, you will enjoy a wonderful 360° view on the port and the old city centre of Genoa.

DARSENA

Following the example of other great maritime museums around the world, the Galata created an Open Air Museum on the docks which narrates the story of the Genoese shipyards and the maritime trade activities that took place in this area.

 

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  • Submarine
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