Vivaldi in Venice and Museo della Musica

IMG_1321It feels like an age since I last went on holiday. It’s been almost six months since my last adventure – that might not sound like that long, but it feels like an extremely long time because it’s been a regimented life, in and out of work, which feels particularly strange when you work in a place that lots of other people visit as tourists.

One of the things that’s obviously nice about being on adventure is the freedom to just mooch around and see what you see. This place was certainly one of those, found when rambling around Venice, slightly attempting to get away from some crowds and have a rest after walking around constantly (and probably feeling a bit sleepy after a gelato-induced sugar-high). Wandering along one of the tiny streets, I happened across the Museo della Musica. It’s a free museum (or it was in 2013 anyway) in the San Maurizio Church.

I went straight in and admired some of the instruments inside – there’s a selection of historical string instruments, including a violin and double bass by Amati, some wind instruments and some curious things like lyre, a monochord and a psaltery.


You can browse the collection on their website, but it was nice to look up close to see some of the details, particularly in the more decorative instruments.


(I realise these aren’t good pictures but I just like them because it looks like the instruments have funny faces.)

There’s also a display about how some of the instruments are made.


There’s also information about composer Antonio Vivaldi, arguably Venice’s most famous musical son. (Although it’s not my cup of tea, I suspect more people are familiar with The Four Seasons than Orfeo.) Vivaldi was born in Venice in 1678. He became a Priest at 25 (his nickname was ‘The Red Priest’, probably a reference to his hair) and he was a violin teacher at the Ospedale della Pietà, an orphanage and music school for which many of Vivaldi’s works were written. One of the buildings is now a luxury hotel, but the church around the corner on the waterfront is still a church. It’s official name is Chiesa della Santa Maria della Visitazione but it’s called ‘The Vivaldi Church’, which is odd considering it was built after Vivaldi died. It does, however, stand on the site of the church where he taught and is now a busy concert venue.


I’ve also dropped a pin in ‘La Fenice’ for this post, which isn’t very far away from the Museo della Musica (Venice isn’t that big, so nothing is very far away really). I stupidly didn’t go to see a performance there because it was Don Giovanni, and it’s ALWAYS Don Giovanni when I go on holiday. Regretfully I didn’t go, but I did go and have a look at the building so I’ll claim it for this one. Maybe another time….


Pins on this post

  • Museo della Musica
  • Ospedale della Pietà
  • Chiesa della Santa Maria della Visitazione
  • La Fenice




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