We know you’ve heard it before, but the more we tell you, the more you’ll realise we’re right! Mediterranean cruises really do offer something for every type of traveller – there’s the beaches for relaxing in luxurious settings, there’s breath-taking scenery which makes for some great sightseeing, and another option when in port is to explore the whole host of museums that are great for travellers who enjoy a spot of culture. But with limited time in each port, you need to plan your time wisely. Here are 5 Mediterranean museums you may pass by on a Mediterranean sailing that you will not want to miss:
Photo Credit – fabiogis50
Museo del Vetro, Venice
The beautiful island of Murano, Venice, is the home of the fabulous Murano glass creations you’ll see for sale throughout Italy (and, indeed, all over the world), and while visiting a glass museum on the island is a good way to learn about the processes, the Museo del Vetro explains more about the history of glass blowing and glassworks in Murano. Here, visitors can see early Roman artifacts found across Italy that inspired this unique type of Venetian glass artistry, before viewing early 15th century examples and seeing how Murano glass has evolved in recent years, despite the workers employing the same traditional methods. The 20th Century section is particularly interesting – it’s a chance to view everyday objects, such as tableware, that truly are one of a kind – there’s nothing mass produced; every piece is completely unique.
Photo Credit – Tab59
Museo Picasso, Malaga
World renowned artists Pablo Picasso was born in the city of Malaga in 1881 and spent the first 10 years of his life there before moving with his family to La Coruna on Spain’s northern coast (and also another popular cruise port!). Picasso made no secret of his love for his hometown, and always wished for his works to be displayed in Malaga. Fortunately, Picasso’s grandson and daughter-in-law made his dreams a reality by opening the Museo Picasso in 2003. The museum owns 276 original Picassos, 233 of which are on display permanently within the exhibition halls while the remaining pieces are loaned to other museums around the world. What makes this museum so interesting, especially for art lovers, is that it doesn’t just focus on Picassos paintings, despite him being most famous for works such as ‘Bather’ and ‘Fruit Bowl’ – there’s also evidence of Picassos foray into woodworking and ceramics.
Photo Credit – Gaspa
The Vatican Museums, Rome
Nestled within Vatican City are a group of museums that continue the classic Papal tradition of displaying personal collections to those who are interested. Despite the museum officially beginning with just a handful of sculptures, today there are 25 different sections that make up the Vatican Museums, including tapestries, 18th and 19th century ceramics, and contemporary art. Access to the museums also allows visitation to the Sistine Chapel, the Chapel of Nicholas V, and the Room of the Immaculate Conception. Along with these permanent sections, there’s also an exhibition rotation, which has, in the past, included the likes of an extensive faberge collection, aboriginal artifacts, and astronomical instruments. It’s best to allow half a day at the very least to discover the museums in detail – there’s a lot to see!
Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, Monte Carlo
If you’re cruising with kids, then a visit to the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco in Monte Carlo is an absolute must. To keep even the littlest of travellers interested, this is an eclectic mix of an aquarium and a museum, with tanks containing all manner of sea creatures along with the world’s largest collection of what is described as ‘marine world curiosities’ – that is, anything and everything found beneath the surface that’s odd, strange, or just downright inexplicable. Animal skeletons, fossils and futuristic diving equipment are just some of the artifacts you can see displayed here. Within the aquarium, kids can visit Turtle Island, Shark Lagoon and can even see the baby fish in the nursery. Of course, there’s a touch pool too for a unique opportunity to pick up star fish, sea urchins and baby sharks!
Gucci Museo, Florence
This may seem like a bit of a light-hearted entry for the end of this ‘Top Mediterranean Museums’ list, but, believe it or not, the Gucci Museum in Florence attracts fashionistas from all across the world and, despite it being relatively new, it’s fast becoming one of the city’s most loved attractions! Located right in the heart of Florence, which is within easy access of the nearby port of Livorno, there are three floors here filled with Gucci history, covering everything from humble beginnings dabbling in leather right through to the brand becoming a revolutionary fashion phenomenon. The items you’ll see on display here are truly incredible – red carpet gowns and hand painted silk scarves, handbags and luggage, and even a retro 1970s Gucci-branded Cadillac! It’s one of the lesser known museums in Florence, but one that’s certainly worth a look.