You know what they say, go big or go home. Journey to Genoa Aquarium, the largest in all of Europe, and you won’t be disappointed. Here’s a lowdown of the main attractions making waves…
Genoa bit about the place?
Want some fin-tastic facts? Over 12,000 animals. 600 species. More than 70 tanks to take in. Only one facility in Europe that houses all of your favorite fish and sea life in environments that faithfully reproduce their natural habitats. That’s this one, by the way.
But it’s not just the inside that’s been masterfully produced. The external part of the Aquarium and Porto Antico (the old port where the aquarium is located) is designed by the Genoese architect Renzo Piano – who also created Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, The Shard in London, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, among other places.
The aquarium’s mission? Combining culture, education, entertainment, excitement, and amusement in a unique and meaningful experience. So, skip the line with a day ticket, and you’ll be hooked…
Deep blue something
At the start of the visit, you’ll be bedazzled by The Blue Planet, a new room showing a stunning sequence of magical marine images. Projected onto a map of the world’s waters, this vibrant video highlights their importance. The sea has been an important channel since the dawn of time, and it still has a lot to teach us. So what better way to welcome visitors?
Floatation for the nation
Head into the Dance of the Jellyfish and get carried away by their floating movements. Find out about the different species from around the world, housed in nine tanks, and see the initial life cycle of these ancient organisms. A mystifying experience of music and light, it’s like your very own modern dance performance. Just a bit more wibbly.
What lies beneath
Dive into the Deep Sea Room, and you’ll get an out-of-this-world underwater experience. Through incredible virtual reality, one of the first of its kind in Italy, you’ll find out all about animal species at the bottom of the oceans. This permanent installation propels you to the depths for three minutes of actual immersion via a Samsung Gear VR headset and display. Darker and darker, deeper and deeper, once your eyes adjust you won’t believe them. Talk about a cave of wonders.
Fin to face with predators
Oh the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear, and it shows them, pearly white. But don’t worry, it’s only a holographic portal outside Sharks’ Bay, giving a sneak preview of what’s inside. Enter if you dare, and stare at various species of sharks from different environments in the big tank. What are you waiting for? Make it snappy.
Get your flippers in a twist
Shiver into the Kingdom of Ice and learn about Antarctica’s and the sub-Antarctic’s harsh environment. It might be too chilly for us to live there, but that doesn’t stop several species – the seas around Antarctica are full of creatures who’ve adapted to survive in extreme conditions.
And that’s not the only place you can find them: Genoa Aquarium is the only aquarium in Europe to host certain types of invertebrate and Antarctic fish. There are also Gentoo penguins and Magellanic penguins, living together for some of the year in a tank that maintains the environment of the Falkland Islands. Happy feet or what?
Make a splash with mermaids
Is it a myth? Is it a legend? Not quite, but there’s certainly something mystical about mammal that lives in the Mermaids’ Lagoon. Here you’ll find the manatees: aquatic, herbivorous, and highly endangered.
They’re so special, in fact, that Genoa Aquarium is the only one in Italy, and one of the only ten in Europe, that houses this incredible creature. Perhaps we’re so drawn to them because although they’re tame, they’re linked with mermaids, mythological creatures of half woman and half fish. How about that for a tall tail?
So there you have it, the main attractions at Genoa Aquarium. But that’s just to help you find your sea legs – there’s a load more to look at like dolphins, tropical fish, octopi, and amphibians. With all that precious cargo, it’ll definitely get your seal of approval.