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The Aquarium of Livorno

If you are in Livorno, I recommend a visit to the Aquarium. It is especially intriguing if you are interested in life under water and a must if you are travelling with children. The Aquarium is located centrally in the city, at the seafront promenade just where the beautiful Mascagni Terrace begins.

2.000 creatures and over 300 different species

In the Aquarium you will find a variety of species of marine animals. Take the time to absorb the quiet ambiance of the place and really explore the aquarium at a pace which allows you to calmly observe the life of these different creatures.  It is divided into two floors and on the first floor you will find a full immersion into nature with reconstructions of different marine environments.  The second floor the new tour "A New World" to discover insects, amphibians and reptiles.

The several tanks feature reconstructions of different marine areas, like the Medieterran Sea, Indo-Pacific Sea - containing about 300,000 litres of water, the bright colours and abundant species of the Caribbean Sea, explore the rocky Tyrrhenian coast of Liguria or through a rocky tunnel, admiring the colours and shapes of the different tropical seas.  There is also a special area dedicated to Greek-Roman archaeological Area, where you can discover the wonders of the sea in a large tank visible from four different sides - containing a reproduction of a Roman shipwreck

A hands-on meeting with the sea

After a few smaller initial tanks you will arrive at the touch pool. You may not be able to actually touch the fish as they lie on the bottom, but seeing them hiding in the sand with only their blinking eyes visible is an amusing sight. Further along you will meet the big green turtles. Looking into their eyes as they curiously come to the glass is fascinating as well as seeing their slow movements in the water. In the same tank you will find the Napoleonfish, which resembles an antique and the blacktip reef sharks.

Continuing your trip, stop for a moment by the Jellyfish and drift away while watching their slow pulsating movements. You can also experience the sweet little clownfish and their obvious symbiosis with the sea anemones and many other colorful and funny-looking species.

At each exhibit there is a small screen showing what/who hides behind the glass window. This is very helpful as it is not always easy to spot all the animals. Along the way there are also wall posters with educational information about marine life.

At the end of your trip you can walk upstairs where currently there is an exhibition about the universe and from where you also have access to the rooftop terrace. Though lacking some décor or a café, the terrace gives a great view of the sea and the check patterned Mascagni Terrace.

After visiting the Aquarium, walk along the Mascagni Terrace and head back the same way to enjoy more of Livorno.

Read about what else you can do in Livorno in a day or two here.

Author: Helle D. Rasmussen

Helle is a Danish citizen currently living in Siena with her Rwandan husband and their one-year-old son. She has lived in several countries around the world and loves to explore every part of the place she lives. She is in the process of exploring Tuscany, especially Siena and its surroundings, and would love to pass on her experiences.


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