Museo Navi Antiche di Pisa (also referred to as Lungarno Simonelli Museum) is housed by the former Medici Arsenale, and some may consider it stands out, art museums aside, one of the most interesting and inciting edifices in Pisa. This museum boasts literally rare and even unique exhibits, such as the single Roman warship in the world discovered unspoiled by time and wear.

The collection consists of more than ten ancient wooden ships dating back as far as the 1st century BC, and it is even a wonder they have managed to stay as well preserved as they have, given the circumstances in which they survived, namely, buried in silt. The sense of fortune is even more enhanced when thinking that these ships were discovered, as it were, by accident, when workers started to carry out their activity occasioned by the expansion of the San Rossore train station in 1998. What is even more remarkable is the collection features, besides the ships as such, the frights and the items they were charged with when the unfortunate events leading to their sinking occurred. Such freights are represented by olives, walnuts, wine or cherries preserved for more than 2000 years in clay amphorae, and other items drawing visitors’ curiosity refer to leather sandals and sewing kits belonging to sailors working on the respective ships at that moment.

Museo Navi Antiche di Pisa
Medici Arsenale, Ponte della Cittadella, Pisa, Italy