A walk on the out side

If you take the vaporetto lines 4.1 or 5.1 from the Giardini/Biennale stop, heading towards Murano, one of the options you may never have thought of is to get off at the Bacini stop, and walk to the Celestia stop. I really do wonder sometimes why I hang around with you, when you don’t think of things like this. But, I shall persevere, you do have many good points that endear you to me. (Well, I can think of at least one …)

So here’s what happens if you step outside your little comfort zone and get off at the Bacini stop.

Turn to the right and walk along a path that looks like it will lead you to a dead-end. What, you don’t trust me? Just when you think you’ll have to turn back and wait for a vaporetto in that lonely,  windswept northern lagoon area, you find a doorway in the wall to your right.

Once you overcome your timidity and go through the door in the wall you'll see a nice walkway ahead of you

Once you overcome your timidity and go through the door in the wall you’ll see a nice walkway ahead of you. Those are domestic residences you see to your left.

And, away you go, along the outer wall of the Arsenale.


You get a whole new perspective on this portion of the northern lagoon, with a glimpse of Murano in the distance.


It is difficult to grasp the scope of the structure that was (and still is) the Arsenale. It certainly holds a special place in my imagination.

This (huge) part of the Arsenale seems to be used for storage of some type. You really do have to come here, do this walk and see how darn big this place is.

This (huge) part of the Arsenale seems to be used for storage of some type. You really do have to come here, do this walk and see how darn big this place is.

When you get to the end of this walk, you can opt to wait for the next vaporetto at the Celestia stop and see where that might take you. Or, you can turn to the left, walk through this arch, and find another adventure, just around that corner.




Filed under Venice

34 responses to “A walk on the out side

  1. Cool! You’ve been in parts of the Arsenale that my heart yearns for.

    What a shame that we can’t cut through the Arsenale in vaporetti these days! Aside from anything else, it would cut quite a bit of commuting time.

    I just got off the slowest, most crowded numero uno, you’d swear it was Carnivale with all the bodies on board!


  2. Caroline

    Hi Yvonne. How interesting! We have got off at Celestia a few times, the first time to find the back way into the ‘Arsenale Novissimo’ for the Art Biennale – 4 years ago, I think. We found just that quite exciting, along the walkway with no signposts & no signs of art until we got to a doorway leading to steps down into an apparently in-use workshop, leading through to other buildings with nobody else around but where we eventually found art! But we’d always thought it looked as though the walkway didn’t go as far as Bacini, so we’ve never attempted it.

    I’m sure you know this, but the bridge you cross over is where vaporetti used to cut through the Arsenale, until that was stopped a few years ago. We’d always assumed this was for reasons of security, but when we went on that ‘moonlight’ tour of the Arsenale the guide said it was because the moto ondoso was damaging the oldest part of the complex.


  3. One day, my Prince shall come along and whisk me into the Arsenale!


    As in the Arsenal of the Venetians
    Boils in winter the tenacious pitch
    To smear their unsound vessels over again
    For sail they cannot; and instead thereof
    One makes his vessel new, and one recaulks
    The ribs of that which many a voyage has made
    One hammers at the prow, one at the stern
    This one makes oars and that one cordage twists
    Another mends the mainsail and the mizzen…


  4. Bert

    That ‘9’ should be a ‘(‘. Sorry


  5. Bert

    Three words 9at least) Venice has given to the English language – arsenal, imbroglio, and ghetto. ‘Arsenal’ is said to be derived from Arabic darsina’a – a house of industry. It was mentioned by Dante in his Inferno.


  6. Yvonne, did you take a picture of the other façade of the arch?


  7. It was the ship building area in Venice. Here’s some info from Wikipedia: “Construction of the Arsenal began around 1104, during Venice’s republican era. It became the largest industrial complex in Europe prior to the Industrial Revolution, spanning an area of about 45 ha (110 acres), or about fifteen percent of Venice. Surrounded by a 2 mi (3.2 km) rampart, laborers and shipbuilders regularly worked within the Arsenal, building ships that sailed from the city’s port. With high walls shielding the Arsenal from public view and guards protecting its perimeter, different areas of the Arsenal each produced a particular prefabricated ship part or other maritime implement, such as munitions, rope, and rigging These parts could then be assembled into a ship in as little as one day.[ An exclusive forest owned by the Arsenal navy, in the Montello hills area of Veneto, provided the Arsenal’s wood supply.”

    Quite a place, and not generally accessible to the public these days, except at Biennale.


  8. The word Arsenale suggests fortress. Am I right?


  9. We took this walk in January on a beautiful, sunny day and enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks for bringing back such great memories Yvonne!


  10. Yvonne….now off to look at my map!!
    I’ll be doing this walk in December…..maybe with Mary?? lol
    Looks wonderful!
    Anna would love to hear any new info re: the arch….thanx for checking.


    • The way you’ve been walking these days, Linda, you’ll eat it up. I hope you and Mary find a nice day to do this.

      At one stage, you go up over a bridge, and I noticed when I passed by on a vaporetto another day, and peered into the Arsenale at that point, you can see a submarine in there. I wish they’d let us in, we’d be on our very best behaviour.


    • Linda, if you keep going through the arch and walk for about five minutes you’ll come to my apartment. That part of the walk is so familiar to me as the Celestia stop is closed to where I stayed last December and will be again this year. A good place to “warm” up and have a welcoming cup of tea or coffee. Or I would know the place for something stronger.
      From the arch you are soon at the “fake” Questura whre they film the Brunetti series.


    • Here is the beginning of an answer: It is said in Venezia scomparsa that this arch is probably what remains of the palazzo Sagredo (now destroyed). I also read in the Stradario that it could have been part of the wall of the garden that belonged to that palazzo. I’ll try and see if I can get more info.


  11. My old neighborhood! I walked on that passerelle last May before visiting the Arsenale. Interesting details along the way. I’m sure the arch has some story to tell. I’ll look into it. Thanks for sharing your venetian moments Yvonne : ) See you in less than two months!!


  12. Bert

    I disagree, jan. Our brave Yvonne does not look bleak at all. 🙂
    The arch seems ‘pointless’, don’t you think?


  13. MaryK

    Ah!! – I did exactly that walk on a day with really wild windy weather on a November day a few years ago. Not at all an ideal day – but I had come out of the Architecture Biennale by that back gateway and the path along the Arsenale wall and the laguna was just too tempting.

    I seem to remember taking some hours to thaw out afterwards though.


  14. jan Graham

    Your brave Yvonne looks pretty bleak around there,


    • It was a nice day for the walk, Jan. It’s not a long one. I thought it could be a good place for the people who like to go for runs, you wouldn’t be dodging many others..


Now it's your turn

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s