This is yet another attraction of San Marko Square Museums. Visitors will be able to see two rooms of the library that once hosted precious manuscripts and that were later added to the new palace envisioned for the King of Italy.
Marciana Library consists of two rooms: The Great Hall and Vestibule, which can be visited through Museum Correr in Venice. Napoleon Bonaparte decided to add these two rooms (that were once a part of the library) to the residence of the King of Italy in 1812. Therefore, the collection of books had to be moved to Doge’s Palace where it stayed till 1902.
Today, this section of Marciana Library is dedicated to temporary exhibitions. These two rooms can be visited together with Museum Correr and the Archeological Museum, which are all interconnected with corridors, so much so that they almost seem as one museum.
History of the Marciana Library
As early as 1362, during the visit of Francesco Petrarca to Venice, the idea was born to open a public library in the city, which would be open to all those who studied and appreciated culture. Petrarca donated his whole collection of precious manuscripts and books to the Republic of Venice in order to create the nucleus of the future library. However, already in 1368 Petrarca left Venice together with his collection of books. It may be that Petrarca did not find a warm welcome in Venice or that the political situation changed, or simply that he changed his mind. Nevertheless, this collection of books was moved to Padua, Pavia and finally ended up in Paris, France, during the rule of Louis XII. Today, a large part of these books is preserved in the National Library of France.
In the 15th century, Greek Cardinal Bessarione donated a large collection of books to Venice, which resulted in reexamining the idea of building a public library. The library was finally built in the 16th century. The original Bessarione collection was enlarged over the years by different donations and transfers of different monastery libraries, so much so that already at the beginning of the 18th century it had more than 10,000 volumes.
Ticket prices for the Marciana Library in Venice
This ticket is valid for several museums around Piazza San Marco: Palazzo Ducale, Museum Correr, the National Archeological Museum and Marciana Library. Regular ticket price is 19 Euros (€) (≈21.11$).
Reduced ticket price is 12 Euros (€) (≈13.34$).
Before you decide to visit this museum we advise you to check the prices on the official web page of the Museum Correr.
Working hours of the Marciana Library in Venice
From April 1 to October 31 working hours are: 10:00-19:00h.
From November 1 to March 31working hours are: 10:00-17:00h.
Museum is closed on January 1 and December 25.