Civic Aquarium of Milan
V.le Gadio, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
|⏰ Opening Hours
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
|💸 Entrance Fee
Find it on google maps
What is the Civic Aquarium of Milan?
The Civic Aquarium of Milan, or Acquario Civico di Milano in Italian, is a fascinating window into the aquatic world nestled in the heart of Milan. Situated in the green tranquility of Parco Sempione, it's one of the oldest aquariums in Europe. Here, you'll discover an array of marine life showcased in meticulously curated exhibits, which are not only educational but also aesthetically pleasing. It's a place where you can come face-to-face with varieties of fish, aquatic plants, and other marine ecosystems all within the footprint of Milan's bustling metropolitan sphere.
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Unlike sprawling modern aquariums in other cities, the Civic Aquarium of Milan has a quaint charm that reflects its long-standing presence in the city. Its façade is adorned with ornate decorations, and inside, the tanks are not just homes to the creatures, but also specimens of historical display techniques. It's a spot beloved by families, school groups, and anyone intrigued by the aquatic world, who also appreciate a slice of Milanese history.
History of the Civic Aquarium of Milan
Brimming with historical significance, the Civic Aquarium of Milan was inaugurated in 1906 as part of the Milan International Exhibition. Its construction aimed to showcase the advancements and potential of underwater exploration and marine studies. Since then, it has seen some world wars, technological revolutions, and century-spanning changes, yet has retained its purpose of marine education and conservation.
The building itself is an architectural gem, designed by Sebastiano Locati, which represents an eclectic mix of styles, embodying the Art Nouveau trend of the early 20th century. Over time, the institution has undergone renovations and updates to both its structure and its exhibits. However, its historical essence, particularly the frescoes and some of the original tanks, has been meticulously preserved, offering a glimpse into the Milan of yesteryears.
Why is the Civic Aquarium of Milan Important?
The Civic Aquarium of Milan stands as a vital institution for its contribution to environmental education and the conservation of aquatic biodiversity. In a rapidly industrializing world, it serves as a gentle reminder of the importance of preserving our natural water environments and the species that inhabit them. It also acts as a research center, playing an instrumental role in the scientific community's understanding of aquatic ecosystems.
Moreover, its historical significance can't be understated. As one of the few surviving buildings from the 1906 Exhibition, it provides tangible links to Milan's past. For Milanese citizens and visitors alike, it is not just an entertainment venue, but a monument to the city’s dedication to science, art, and history. By visiting, people are essentially stepping into a chapter of Milanese heritage, and this is another facet of its importance beyond being an educational establishment.
Things to Do & See at the Civic Aquarium of Milan
Inside the walls of the Civic Aquarium of Milan, there's a wealth of activity to engage in. Visitors can admire the numerous aquatic species, from the delicate seahorses to the agile piranhas and the ever-so-sleek eels. Each tank is designed to replicate the natural habitats of its inhabitants, providing a well-rounded view of life under the sea and in freshwater environments.
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Don’t miss the beautiful external and internal frescoes, which depict various marine scenes and creatures, adding an artistic layer to the experience. Moreover, the library within the aquarium is an invaluable resource for those curious about marine biology, offering an extensive collection of literature on the subject. For the youngest guests, interactive touch pools and educational workshops provide a hands-on learning encounter with the aquatic world.
For those looking for a serene place to relax, the vicinity of the Parco Sempione offers lush greenery and open spaces to stroll or picnic after the visit. During certain times of the year, you may also stumble upon special exhibitions or events hosted in the aquarium, bringing contemporary issues of marine conservation into focus. It's, without a doubt, a charming spot where nature, learning, and history blend seamlessly together for a delightful outing in Milan.