The Squero Casal dei Servi, dating back to the 15th century, is one of the most secret and fascinating hidden gems in Venice, a treasure that has been handed down to us thanks to the incredible work of the Associazione Arzanà.
Arzanà, from the Venetian name that Italian poet Dante used to describe the Venice Arsenal in the Divine Comedy, was founded in 1992 with the objective to recover, study and preserve the traditional naval heritage of Venice otherwise likely to be lost forever.
The squero (in Venetian dialect the place where rowing boats & gondolas were built), is the oldest still existing in Venice and it has been featured in many films such as Casanova and The Merchant of Venice. It hosts many picturesque “rescued” boats, including poet Robert Browing’s gondola, as well as many collections of vintage unique marine objects.
Book a free private visit in office time – prior to requesting it online at arzana.org – and make sure you leave a voluntary donation for the conservation of the Venetian naval heritage.
The gondolas that were built in the historic Squero Casal include the one purchased in 1846 by the poet Robert Browning, who lived in Ca’ Rezzonico, and the 1882 Royal Gondola built for the House of Savoy. Now on display at the National Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions in Rome, it was used by Queen Margherita on the occasion of her official visit to Venice.
Calle delle Pignatte