History and description
Although the Naples Aquarium is not the biggest one in Italy (that honor is reserved for Genoa), it is the oldest one. It was founded in 1870 by Anton Dohrn, who achieved permission to construct the new Stazione Zoologico inside the Villa Comunale.
Felix Anton Dohrn was a German zoologist, who, with a number of colleagues, had conceived the plan to open a chain of “zoologist stations” all over the world. Scientist could then travel from station to station to keep increasing their knowledge of maritime life.
The original project was by Oscar Capocci, but the work was finished by the sculptor Adolf von Hildebrand.
The Stazione Zoologico also saves animals such as sea turtles that get trapped in fishing nets, heals them and takes them back when they have recovered.
What to see
The Naples Aquarium houses hundreds of species, divided over 23 large tanks. The various species are from different habitats and include tropical plants and fish that arrived in the Mediterranean via the Red Sea.
The library of the Stazione Zoologica has been frescoed with scenes from the lives of fishermen by the German painter Hans von Marées in 1873.
Address: Villa Comunale – Napoli. Phone: +39 081 583 3442. Opening times: From 10:00 till 14:00 and from 15:00 till 19:00. Closed: Mondays. Ticket price: 8 Euros (concessions: 5 Euros, free for children younger than 5). Nearest metro: Piazza Amedeo (line 2).
(Note that opening times and admission may be subject to change.)