Fodor's Expert Review Aquarium

Chiaia, Santa Lucia, and Nearby Aquarium Fodor's Choice

Originally named by the Greeks after the Mermaid Parthenope (who slew herself after being rejected by Odysseus, at least in the poet Virgil’s version), it's only fitting that Naples should have established one of Europe's first public aquariums in 1874. At the time—when, not so incidentally, the public imagination was being stirred by Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo and Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid—technological innovations came into place to funnel seawater directly from the bay into the aquarium tanks, which showcase fish and marine plants from the Bay of Naples, with a tank devoted to tropical fish. Officially named the Stazione Zoologica, founded by the German scientist Anton Dhorn, and housed in a Stile Liberty building designed by Adolf von Hildebrandt, the aquarium quickly became the wonder of Naples for children and art-exhausted adults. Reopened in 2021 after a six-year major overhaul, the foundation added the Museo Darwin-Dohrn (Da-DoM) a few steps away in... READ MORE

Originally named by the Greeks after the Mermaid Parthenope (who slew herself after being rejected by Odysseus, at least in the poet Virgil’s version), it's only fitting that Naples should have established one of Europe's first public aquariums in 1874. At the time—when, not so incidentally, the public imagination was being stirred by Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo and Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid—technological innovations came into place to funnel seawater directly from the bay into the aquarium tanks, which showcase fish and marine plants from the Bay of Naples, with a tank devoted to tropical fish. Officially named the Stazione Zoologica, founded by the German scientist Anton Dhorn, and housed in a Stile Liberty building designed by Adolf von Hildebrandt, the aquarium quickly became the wonder of Naples for children and art-exhausted adults. Reopened in 2021 after a six-year major overhaul, the foundation added the Museo Darwin-Dohrn (Da-DoM) a few steps away in the leafy Villa Comunale—the 19th-century naturalist and Dohrn were regular correspondents. The highlight is the skeleton of a sperm whale washed up in Ischia in 2018, in a room opening up to the bay.

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Aquarium Family Fodor's Choice Historical

Quick Facts

Villa Comunale
Naples, Campania  80121, Italy

081-5833442-aquarium

www.fondazionedohrn.it

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Aquarium €7, museum €6, both €10, Closed Mon.

What’s Nearby