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Liguria

The Genoa Aquarium and 3 adventures not to be missed

This is the very definition of an immersive experience; an unmissable chance to learn more about the seabed and the species that inhabit it.

The Aquarium of Genoa, the city that has built its greatness on the sea, located in the Old Port, is a treasure trove of the richest aquatic biodiversity in Europe. Its path unfolds in more than 70 spaces and contains around 12,000 specimens of 600 species from all the seas of the world. The Aquarium also offers the opportunity to engage in other thrilling experiences.

1. A dip where the water is bluest

The tour immediately envelops visitors in the fascination of the Blue Planet: a video map shows the water distribution on Earth and raises awareness of the crucial role it plays in life, from antiquity to the present day. The adventure begins in the Moray Eel Cave, where the fearsome creatures camouflage themselves, crouching among the rocks of a tall cylindrical pool resembling a seashell. Not far away swim seahorses and octopus. Igniting all imaginations is the Mermaid Lagoon, where manatees, the herbivorous aquatic mammals said to have given rise to the myth of the mermaids, dart around. The Aquarium of Genoa is the only one in Italy where this endangered species can still be admired.

2. Face to face with dolphins

From the call of the mermaids to the breathtaking Bay of Sharks: several species of sea predators are represented here, and two specimens of sawfish with serrated rostrum also frolic on the seabed. A footbridge passes over Seal Island, but the most thrilling experience is in the Cetacean Pavilion, where a close encounter with dolphins takes place: four open-air tanks house a small community of coastal specimens. Thanks to a two-level structure, they can be observed both on the surface and from an underwater perspective.

3. All-round biodiversity

Emerging from the water, the route winds its way inside the large Blue Ship, in the Biodiversity Pavilion. With due caution, you can caress the mantle of stingrays, and without leaving the Tropics you can dive back into a coral lagoon inhabited by puffer fish, napoleon fish and zebra sharks. The Tropics route continues on the surface, as visitors enter the Tropical Forest, one of the most biodiverse environments, and home to more than half of the animal and plant species on Earth.

4. The dance of the jellyfish

There are rooms that, in addition to satisfying biological or naturalistic interest, are a real feast for the eyes, such as the one animated by the hypnotic, fluctuating movement of jellyfish: nine tanks with species from the various seas of the world. A pyrotechnic display of colours can also be witnessed in the coral reef area, one of the most endangered marine ecosystems: here, under lights simulating that of a full moon evening, one can admire the fluorescence of the corals, while clownfish and cardinal fish swim alongside. 

5. Nighttime adventure with sharks

If they have extra time, children aged 7 to 11 can try the daredevil experience of a night with the sharks, sleeping on camp beds in front of their tank to witness their nocturnal behaviour and discover how the Aquarium is transformed when night falls. The adventure starts at 9pm and includes a guided night tour of the Aquarium, entertainment activities and an overnight stay in a sleeping bag. 

6. Tropical forest adventure

A drop of glass and steel overlooking the sea: Biosfera is the name of the scenic techno-sphere designed by architect Renzo Piano in the Porto Antico. Stepping inside its dense and mysterious vegetation is an opportunity to learn about the fauna and flora of tropical forests, fragile ecosystems that human exploitation has brought under control. 

7. High-altitude adventure on the panoramic lift

Another project by Renzo Piano, who is responsible for the redevelopment of the entire Porto Antico area, is Bigo, the name of the cranes formerly used to move goods, from which it takes its inspiration. It indicates the structure intended to support the marquee in Piazza delle Feste, where events and exhibitions are held. One of its arms also supports the panoramic lift, which reaches a height of 40 metres in a few seconds, affording passengers a spectacular view of the port and the network of carruggi, meaning “alleyways”.

8. Tailor-made entrance packages

The discoveries don't end here: a visit to the Aquarium alone takes two to three hours, but the tour offers a variety of in-depth insights. During the course of the day you can stop and have lunch or a snack at the Tender Café or lunch at the Gusto a Bordo restaurant, located inside the Aquarium. The entrance packages and itineraries are quite varied, so we recommend finding the one that suits you directly on the website, where you can benefit from a wide variety of prices.

 

For more information

Porto Antico Area, Ponte Spinola

16128 Genoa

+39 010 23451

acquariodigenova.it