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Acquario e Civica Stazione Idrobiologica di Milano
Over a hundred species of fish, crustaceans, molluscs and echinoderms from the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, plus rare tropical and freshwater fish. You can even see them in the new tanks and even from below, when you are in the glass tunnel inside Milan’s Civic Aquarium.
The exciting exhibition sequence is heralded, even before going inside, by the fountain featuring the god Neptune, part of the façade decoration. The Aquarium is in fact housed inside a superb Art Nouveau building, with exterior decorations on aquatic themes, arranged around the god of the sea.
Inside, an illustrated sequence introduces visitors to the cycle of precipitation and evaporation and its relationship to the creation of ecosystems.
The building in which the Aquarium is housed is also the location for the Hydrobiological Station and the specialist Library for marine biology and aquatic science, an ideal location for learning more about life in the sea.
It is impossible to miss this unusual fountain at the entrance to the floral Art Nouveau edifice hosting the Civic Aquarium. Water spurts from the massive jaws of a hippopotamus and gushes into the circular pool below that is filled with aquatic plants.
High up on the facade the imposing statue of the sea god Neptune, by Oreste Labò, masterfully wields his trident and foretells what the visitor can expect to see inside.
The exterior of the building is entirely adorned with statues, sculptures, reliefs and ceramics designed by Richard Ginori that, unsurprisingly, evoke elements linked to the aquatic environment.
Many activities are designed specifically for children and schools, from nursery to secondary classes. All such tours comprise a guided visit to the facilities, and they include various educational documentations, such as films, multimedia presentations and games.
The Aquarium building is the only surviving building from those constructed for the 1906 International Exposition that occupied the area of Parco Sempione and the Milan Fair. The Liberty-style building was designed by the architect Sebastiano Locati.
At the end of the exposition, the organising committee gifted the site to the Municipality of Milan and, after the partial destruction caused by air-raids in 1943, the aquarium was reconstructed in 1963. In 1983, a new refurbishment saw the inside partially modified and it remained that way until the latest restoration in 2006 that returned the aquarium to its original splendour, at the same time modernising the technical-scientific section.
MM2 stop: Lanza
- A wheelchair user can independently access the museum entrance and visit all the exhibition rooms. The toilet facilities - equipped in compliance with regulations for persons with physical disabilities - can also be independently accessed.
- For the benefit of the visually impaired the names of the museum rooms are in large format and clearly visible, as are the toilet pictograms.
- The museum is equipped with an audible fire alarm system
Reduced price: € 3
3 days ticket to the Civic Museums: € 12
Free admission every first and third Tuesday of the month from 14:00 and every first Sunday of the month for the whole day
Free admission: visitors up to the age of 18; high school students and accompanying teachers of school groups; tourist guides and tourist interpreters accompanying groups; disabled people and their carers; journalists; people with disabilities; scholars with special permission from the Museum management; officials of state and regional superintendencies; members of the ICOM.
Admission with reduction: EU citizens between the ages of 18 and 25; University students and Fine Arts Academies; adults over 65