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Genoa Aquarium exhibits | Close-up with the underwater world

The Genoa Aquarium is a renowned marine life center in Italy, with a mission to promote conservation and awareness of the marine environment. The exhibits at the aquarium take you through a comprehensive and engaging exploration of marine life, highlighting the beauty, diversity, and importance of various marine ecosystems and species. You'll see state-of-art, themed rooms like The Blue Planet, The Moray Cave, The Mermaid Lagoon, Shark Bay, Seal Island, and The Kingdom of Ice, each highlighting a particular set of marine species.

Check out exciting details and highlights of these immersive exhibits inside the Genoa Aquarium.

Genoa Aquarium exhibits

The Blue Planet

Location: The Blue Planet room
Features: A video mapping experience showcasing marine animals from all the oceans, with a focus on the importance of water for life.

  • The video is projected on a large planisphere of the ocean floor, highlighting the distribution of water on Earth and its historical significance as a means of communication and discovery.
  • Marvel at the evocative sequence of images of marine animals, showcasing the beauty and diversity of the world's oceans.
  • Start your journey in the Blue Planet, the new room that kicks off the Aquarium's exhibition itinerary, and be captivated by the wonders of the marine world.

The Moray Cave

Location: The Blue Planet room
Features: An imposing cylindrical tank over 6 meters high, showcasing moray eels, scorpion fish, seahorses, and the intelligent octopus.

  • The exhibit is set up to resemble a section of a shell, creating a semi-dark, immersive environment.
  • Witness the captivating moray eels as they hide among the rocky ravines, blending seamlessly with their environment.
  • Observe the unique camouflage abilities of the scorpion fish, seemingly motionless on the seabed, the graceful movements and intriguing behaviors of the seahorses and the highly intelligent octopus.

The Mermaid Lagoon

Location: The Mermaid Lagoon room
Features: Manatees, herbivorous aquatic mammals, in a setting reminiscent of a lagoon.

  • Learn about the unique characteristics and behaviors of manatees, including their feeding habits and maternal care.
  • Discover the connection between manatees and the mythological figures of mermaids, attributed to their resemblance to half-woman, half-fish creatures.
  • Know about the conservation efforts of the Genoa Aquarium in preserving this species, which is at serious risk of extinction.

The Island of Seals

Location: Seal Island room
Features: A group of harbor seals, native to the Northern Hemisphere coastal waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the North Sea.

  • Observe the delightful harbor seals, some born within the Aquarium and others rescued and rehabilitated. They inhabit a setting designed to mimic their natural habitat, providing valuable insights into their behaviors and adaptability on both land and in water.
  • The tank is visible from the second floor of the Aquarium, providing a unique perspective of the seals both in and out of the water.
  • Learn about the conservation efforts and rescue stories of the seals, highlighting the importance of human intervention in protecting marine mammals.

The Biodiversity Pavilion

Location: The Biodiversity Pavilion, located inside the large Blue Ship of the Genoa Aquarium.
Features: Different little tactile tanks, an educational area with interactive displays and multimedia content.

  • Blue Safari: This area features a tactile tank where visitors can carefully touch and interact with various marine species.
  • Sturgeon Exhibit: An engaging precap of the ancient and biologically fascinating sturgeon fish.
  • Indo-Pacific Coral Lagoon: This tropical environment showcases a variety of species, including puffer fish, Napoleon fish, and zebra sharks.
  • Educational Area: An interactive space with videos, computer graphics, and 3D reconstructions that delve into the biology and ecology of coral reefs.

The Tropical Forest

Location: Biodiversity Pavilion, African tropical forest area
Features: Terrestrial and freshwater species such as fish, frogs, tortoises, and geckos in a lush tropical forest setting.

  • Admire the first plant wall in Italy, designed by architect Patrick Blanc, featuring over 150 tropical plants fixed in pockets created in a layer of felt.
  • The exhibit also includes a reconstruction of the Malagasy forest of the Tsingy of Bemaraha.
  • It's akin to taking a walk at the African tropical forest area as you see a variety of fascinating terrestrial and freshwater species.

The Routes of the Tropics

Location: Biodiversity Pavilion
Features: The final exhibition section of the Biodiversity Pavilion pays tribute to the great explorers and naturalists of the past.

  • Learn about the important contributions of pioneering explorers like Columbus, Humboldt and Darwin, who have shaped our understanding of the natural world.
  • The area has various freshwater and marine environments of the tropical belt on display.
  • Play with the beloved characters from "Finding Nemo" in the interactive play pool, where children can have fun and identify their favorite characters, such as Gill, Dory, and Nemo.

The World of Corals

Location: Coral Reef Exhibit
Features: Three small tanks encasing marine ecosystem of coral reefs.

  • The main tank employs special lamps that reproduce the light conditions of a full moon night, letting you witness the fascinating fluorescence of the corals.
  • The other two tanks are home to colorful tropical species, including baby clownfish and cardinalfish that are regularly born at the Genoa Aquarium.
  • Learn about the importance of coral reef conservation and the Genoa Aquarium's efforts to protect these fragile ecosystems.

The Dance of the Jellyfish

Location: Jellyfish Exhibit Room
Features: Nine tanks showcasing various jellyfish species from different seas around the world.

  • Be mesmerized by the graceful and hypnotic dance of the jellyfish, while a dedicated soundtrack and particular lighting create an engaging experience.
  • Learn about the fascinating life cycle of these ancient and simple-structured creatures.

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Frequently asked questions about Genoa Aquarium exhibits

Are the exhibits at Genoa Aquarium permanent?

Yes, the exhibits at Genoa Aquarium are permanent, displaying a diverse range of marine life and ecosystems from around the world. These are carefully curated, specialized areas for a truly believable and inviting experience.

Is access to these exhibits included in the entry ticket?

You can see the exhibits with your Genoa Aquarium entry ticket. But there are other exclusive experiences in the Aquarium that require a separate ticket.

What makes the Biosphere exhibit at the Genoa Aquarium unique?

The Biosphere is a special section of the Genoa Aquarium Village that highlights the interconnectedness of Earth's ecosystems, demonstrating different habitats from rainforests to coral reefs and emphasizing the need for their preservation and sustainable management.

Are these exhibits safe for children?

Yes, the Genoa Aquarium is designed with safety in mind for children and all visitors. Key measures include secure exhibit designs with shatterproof glass, trained staff present throughout the facility, clear visitor guidelines, dedicated children's areas with interactive displays, and regular maintenance and safety checks. These ensure a safe and engaging experience for everyone.

Are there any specific children-friendly exhibits at the Aquarium?

Yes, there are several children-friendly exhibits at the Aquarium of Genoa:
Mermaid Lagoon: Dive into the magical world of manatees, the gentle giants of the sea! Discover their secrets and how they inspired mermaid legends.
Seal Island: Meet the adorable harbor seals, masters of both land and sea! Learn about their playful antics and the heroes who help protect them.
Kingdom of Ice: Chill out with penguins from the Falkland Islands! Experience the Antarctic wonderland and meet some cool characters.
Child-friendly Discoveries: Play real-life finding Nemo, amidst the colorful fish and coral reefs.
Kids will enjoy the other exhibits as well, depending upon their personal interests, so don't limit them to these areas only. Feel free to follow their lead!

What kind of research is conducted at the Genoa Aquarium's dedicated research center?

The Genoa Aquarium has a dedicated research center that focuses on various aspects of marine biology and ecology, contributing to a better understanding of the marine world and supporting conservation efforts. The research conducted at the center spans studying marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, developing innovative technologies for marine monitoring and conservation, and promoting marine science education and outreach.

What interactive experiences are available for visitors at the Genoa Aquarium?

Genoa Aquarium offers a variety of interactive experiences for visitors to engage with marine life and enhance their visit. These interactive experiences include:
Touch Tanks: You can interact with sea creatures through touch tanks, providing a hands-on experience to learn about marine life up close.
Educational programs: The aquarium offers educational programs tailored to different age groups, allowing visitors to learn about marine biodiversity and conservation efforts in an engaging way.
Feeding sessions: Guests can observe feeding sessions where they can learn about the feeding habits and behaviors of various marine animals, adding an educational element to their visit.
Virtual reality and digital games: The aquarium uses technology such as Virtual Reality and digital games to enhance the visitor experience, making learning about marine life fun and interactive.
Hands-on exhibitions: Visitors can enjoy hands-on exhibitions that provide a deeper understanding of the importance of protecting our oceans and marine ecosystems

How does the Genoa Aquarium's circular design contribute to the visitor experience?

Unlike traditional rectangular aquariums, the Genoa Aquarium's distinctive circular layout creates an immersive experience for visitors as they explore the interconnected habitats and follow a continuous flow through the exhibits.

What are some of the most rare marine species at Genoa Aquarium?

The Genoa Aquarium is home to a diverse collection of rare and unique marine species, including manatees, Japanese giant crabs, Antarctic invertebrates, zebra sharks, and piranhas.
As one of the few aquariums in Europe to house manatees, the Genoa Aquarium provides visitors with the opportunity to observe these gentle, herbivorous aquatic mammals. The aquarium's Biodiversity Pavilion showcases other rare species, such as the visually striking zebra sharks and the predatory piranhas.
Also, the Kingdom of Ice exhibit features Antarctic invertebrates, which are seldom seen outside of their natural cold-water habitats.