Nestled within the neoclassical Palazzo Dugnani in Milan lies a hidden gem – the Civic Aquarium of Milan. Though lesser known than other attractions in the city, this aquarium houses over 100 aquatic species and is a fascinating place to visit.

Founded in 1906, the Civic Aquarium is one of the oldest aquariums in Europe. Its tanks and exhibits are spread across two floors centering around a dramatic large tank in the atrium containing sharks and other pelagic fish. Here is an overview of what you can see at the Civic Aquarium of Milan:

Tropical Fish Exhibits

The aquarium contains several tanks dedicated to showcasing the dazzling diversity of tropical fish from around the world. Neon-colored species from the Amazon and vibrant Indonesian reef fish are particular highlights. The tank replicating the Indian Ocean environment also hosts unique fish like the striped eel catfish and archerfish.

Sharks and Rays

The main tank in the atrium mimics the Red Sea and is home to over a dozen species of sharks and rays. Here you can get up close to blacktip reef sharks, zebra sharks, guitarfish and more. Information panels share facts and insights about these captivating marine predators.

Invertebrates, Amphibians and Reptiles

Beyond fish, the aquarium displays a variety of intriguing invertebrates like octopuses, seahorses and jellyfish. The reptile and amphibian section features exotic species like the prehistoric-looking axolotl along with various snakes, turtles and lizards.

Adriatic Sea Tank

No aquarium in Milan would be complete without representing local marine life. The large Adriatic Sea tank shows species from the waters around Italy including red mullet, seabass and comber fish.

Temporary Exhibits

In addition to the permanent collection, the Civic Aquarium hosts special temporary exhibitions focused on different ecosystems or conservation themes. Recent exhibits have highlighted Antarctic sea life and the mangroves of Southeast Asia.

Educational Activities

The aquarium offers an array of educational programs and activities. Visitors can attend feeding shows to learn about the behaviors and diets of various marine creatures. The venue also provides creative workshops for kids combining crafts with marine biology lessons.

The Civic Aquarium of Milan offers a uniquely immersive experience to observe underwater creatures from around the world. With its combination of classic tanks and interactive exhibits, this aquarium is an engaging attraction suitable for visitors of all ages. For an alternative to Milan’s traditional cultural sites, spend an afternoon discovering the treasures of the deep at this historic aquarium.