The Aquarium of Genoa is the largest aquarium in Italy, the first in Europe by the number of animal species, the third in Europe by area and the ninth in the world. The aquarium is located in the ancient port of Genoa.
The aquarium was built for the International Exhibition Genoa 1992, to celebrate 500 years passed since the Genoese Christopher Columbus discovered the new world.
The building was designed by the Genoese architect Renzo Piano. The interior was designed by the architect Peter Chermayeff.
In 1998, the aquarium was expanded by 100 meters, with a ship connected by walkway to the original building. Subsequently, it was extended several times.
From its opening until 2014, the aquarium was visited by over 25 million visitors, with an average of 1.2 million per year.
The aquarium includes 70 tanks and 4 open-air pavilions, inaugurated in the summer of 2013. The total area of the structure is 27,000 square meters. The tanks host about 15,000 animals of 400 different species, of which we can mention fish, marine mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, in environments that reproduce the original ones.
Four large tanks allow animals to be observed from two different levels. The tanks are home to the manatees, sharks of different species, seals and penguins. Thanks to the new Cetacean Pavilion, dolphins can be admired both from above and from an underwater perspective, thanks to a 15-meter-long tunnel.
Once a month, the Aquarium of Genoa offers the Night with the Sharks, when up to 35 children are allowed to sleep in front of the shark tank, spending a whole night inside the aquarium, to find out all about the nocturnal behavior of its inhabitants.
TIP: A visit takes about 2 hours and a half, and a ticket costs 18€. If you don’t want to spend your time in the waiting line, you can buy your skip-the-line ticket in advance, to ensure you have a fast track access.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Aquarium of Genoa is located about 1.2 kilometers from the Genova Piazza Principe railway station. The closest Metro stop is San Giorgio, located about 200 meters away. The closest bus stop is Caricamento/Aquarium, located about 90 meters away, on the bus Lines 1, 9, 32 and 635.