The underwater world always exerts a great attraction on adults and children alike. It is an animated, multicoloured world, full of fantastic creatures that lurk beneath the surface of the water. Aquariums are the easiest and most direct way to approach the underwater world and observe the shapes and colours of Mediterranean, tropical and exotic habitats up close. Here are the best Italian aquariu

Aquarium of Genoa

The king of Italian aquariums, the one in Genoa is one of the largest aquariums in Europe and among the most famous in the world for its important exhibition. It is located in Ponte Spinola, near the old port of Genoa. A real treasure of biodiversity, the structure is about 27 thousand square metres large and houses 70 tanks, 12 thousand animals and 600 different species including fish, mammal birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. The main path of the Genoa Aquarium includes 39 tanks inside which underwater habitats from all over the world are faithfully reproduced. In addition to the indoor tanks, it is worth visiting the open-air exhibition area dedicated to cetaceans, inaugurated in 2013 by Renzo Piano. Finally, 19 tanks make up the Biodiversity Pavilion, housed inside the Nave Italia and dedicated to the underwater world of the Mediterranean Sea and Madagascar. Genoa's aquarium is an Italian pride to be treasured, and every year millions of visitors come to the Ligurian city not to miss the opportunity to immerse themselves in an aquatic world and see the wonders of nature with their own eyes.

Le Navi Aquarium in Cattolica

The largest aquarium on the Adriatic coast, Le Navi in Cattolica was inaugurated in 2000 after a painstaking restoration of the XXVIII Ottobre marine colony. The aquarium is one of the most fascinating marine parks in Italy. The guided tour runs along four routes, each marked by a specific colour. The blue route explores the biological evolution of planet Earth and showcases the ecosystems of the Mediterranean and the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. Among the highlights of the trail are numerous sharks. The green route is dedicated to exotic fauna, where you can see chameleons, frogs, insects, snakes, amphibians, geckos, land tortoises, lizards and iguanas. The purple route is the most mysterious and fascinating way that leads visitors to the most remote depths of the seas, to discover the rarest and most unusual inhabitants of the abysses. The yellow route is a plunge into the history of navigation, a journey through man's most famous adventures to discover new lands. Here you can admire, among others, otters and caimans.

Aquarium of Livorno

Livorno's municipal aquarium is dedicated to the famous Italian naturalist Diacinto Cestoni and stands on the edge of the seafront and the Mascagni terrace. The aquarium was inaugurated in 1937 but was destroyed during the Second World War. It has since been rebuilt several times until the last renovation in 2010. "Where fantasy takes shape" is the motto of the Livorno aquarium, where you can embark on a journey through exhibition tanks, a tunnel and a touch tank. Inside the exhibition area there are about 150 species of animals, sea creatures and amphibians, as well as insects and reptiles. The first floor of the building leads to the panoramic terrace overlooking Livorno's seafront and the islands of the Archipelago.

Naples Aquarium

The Aquarium of Naples is the second oldest aquarium in Europe and the first among the still existing ones. It was opened to the public in 1874 and is part of the Anton Dohrn Zoological Station, an important scientific institution and research body in the biological and oceanographic fields. The purpose of the Zoological Station is to study the processes of marine biology, with particular attention to the evolutionary dynamics of ecosystems. The aquarium houses about 30 tanks and more than 200 marine, animal and plant species. Most of the creatures in the tanks come from the Gulf of Naples. Periodically, it is possible to observe several sea turtles of the Caretta caretta species, rescued from dangerous situations and reintroduced into their natural habitat.

Municipal aquarium of Trieste

The journey through the depths of the seas ends in Trieste with the Municipal Marine Aquarium. Opened in 1933, the aquarium houses 25 tanks in which various marine environments are reconstructed. Most of the animal species in the tanks come from the Adriatic coast. For many years, one of the main attractions of the Trieste aquarium was Marco, a penguin who lived for 31 years. The exhibition is located in the building of the former Central Fish Market, erected in 1913 by Giorgio Polli. What today looks like the bell tower of the aquarium was once a 'water tower' in which a reservoir of seawater was piped to the fish market.

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