The Aquarium of Genoa and the Old Port
The Aquarium of Genoa opened on October 15th, 1992, and is located in the middle of the sixteenth century Old Port of the city, on what is known as the Ponte Spinola. With 10,000 square meters of exhibition and 71 tanks open to the public, it s the largest indoor aquarium in Europe.
The structure comes from a liaison of two very diverse architectural concepts: that of the local architect Renzo Piano, responsible for the outside and the russian-born American architect Chermayeff's inside.
The Aquarium is 250 meters long on four floors, two of which are below the level of the sea, reaching a depth of 7 meters. In the summer of 1998 a real boat known as the "Great Blue Ship", was added to the already existing structure.
Housing around 600 species, the aquarium has more than 6000 specimens of fish, reptiles, amphibians , mammals, birds and invertebrates.
From the entrance, within the reception hall, you can see a tank faithfully reconstructed as an old pier of the Old Port of Genoa dating from the fifteenth century,15 meters long and 2m high, in which swim the more typical species of the Ligurian coastal environment.
Inside the visitor follows a course through the aquarium passing by in particular one of the largest tanks, holding 1,200,000 liters of water, containing thirteen sharks: eight grey, two bull, one angel, and most recently two sawfish.
Not to be missed is the dolphin pool where with a little luck you can watch the developments of Achilles, a young dolphin born in the aquarium on August 22nd, 2002, who lives with his mother Bonnie.
Also recommended are the seals' tank, the penguins' house, a whole section of the coral barrier reef, the fearsome piranha tank and Nile crocodile pool.
The Aquarium can be reached by car from the west exit Genova motorway with ample localized parking or by train stopping at the Principe station.
In addition to the aquarium visit, which is highly recommended, well worth a tour is the Old Port where can be seen:
The Young Children's City.
The largest structure in Italy dedicated to games, science and technology, for children between 2 and 12 years of age, designed and developed with over 90 exhibits allowing "small and great" discoveries useful to satisfy the desire to know and to approach science and technology in a fun way.
The Galata Museum Of The Sea is both inovative and exciting with a faithful reconstruction of a 16th Century galley, a 19th century brig-schooner, the suggestive "Storm Room", and the "Transatlantic Italian" exhibition. With over 6000 original artifacts the museum tells the fascinating history of man's relationship with the sea.
The submarine S518 Nazario Suaro: Italy's first naval museum upon the water.
The Bigo, designed by Renzo Piano, was inspired by the cranes of the old Port and is a symbol of Genoa. It is a rotating elevator and panoramic lift that goes up to 40 meters allowing a 360 degree view of the city.
The Biosphere is a round structure of glass and steel with a diameter of 20 meters that contains 150 plant species,and some animal species such as amphibians, reptiles, insects and birds.
There is the convenient opportunity to purchase a ticket package that includes a visit to all of the above facilities.