In Genoa, a city with many facets, but above all one of the few in Italy where the present and the past fit perfectly into one another, I have been a few years ago.
The wonders of the sea
I remember the cold wind, snow and one of the worst landings in my life. It was not a pleasure trip: I accompanied my dad to a medical examination. But we decided to enjoy the city for two days, strolling in its historic center, the second largest in Europe and UNESCO World Heritage since 2006, among the carrugi and under the porticoes of Sottoripa, the oldest in Italy.
We visited the Palazzo Ducale and the Cathedral of San Lorenzo and, admiring the facades, we were conquered by the many patrician palaces called Rolli of Genoa, that is, the palaces owned by noble families who had the honor of hosting important people during their visits in the city. From the number of 114, it is possible to understand why Genoa was called the Superb and, excelling among the Maritime Republics, how much power and wealth has concentrated here in the past. Today, 46 of these dwellings have been included among UNESCO’s heritages.
We did not miss the opportunity to visit Aquarium in the area of Porto Antico of Genoa, refurbished on Expo ’92, celebration of the fifth centenary of the discovery of the New World by Cristoforo Colombo, by architect Renzo Piano, Genoese doc.
When I returned, I promised to go back to Michele soon. We did this year for half a day at the end of our tour in the Levante Riviera, dedicating it completely to the visit of Aquarium and Bubble, the crystal and steel sphere that houses the fabulous botanical collection of the town.
The Aquarium of Genoa is certainly one of the greatest attractions in the city: it is the largest in Italy and the second in Europe after that of Valencia, as well as one of the most beautiful in the world.
But, above all, it is a must for a stop if you decide to travel together with children to watch the large pools where the sea creatures swim with their eyes, they are infected by the same exciting mixed wonder as a gentle amazement.
In fact, this time, traveling reached us our three grandchildren of seven, five, and two years and the real show was to look them excited in front of the tanks, somewhat frightened in front of the reeds and spiders, wrapped around pool of races in an attempt to caress them on the back and have fun playing with the dolphins.
It would have been harder to bring four legs with us: of course, among the aquarium tanks they can not enter but there is not even the possibility of leaving them outside in a dog box or in an area reserved for them.
Entering, you are immediately catapulted into a submerged marine world, between soft lights, dark panels, and large tanks that house colorful starfish, impalpable jellyfish and huge murines that nest in hiding among the algae.
They also captivate the Shark Bay and the Kingdom of Ice with the new scenarios that lead to the discovery of the Antarctic basins, unique in Europe.
As I said I had already been, but to go around 12,000 specimens between fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds and invertebrates of 600 species housed in 71 tanks, including manatees, penguins, sharks, seals and colorful fish of the coral reef , Is always a unique emotion.
And I do not hide that thinking back to the first time I was there, that with my dad I lost a few years later, I could not hold back tears of emotion.
Stunned and tired we came out of the Aquarium on the port designed by Piano as an immense ship with high and hot sunshine and it seemed to us to be emerging from the deep oceans aboard which once sailed galleons like the Neptune moored just a few yards away ‘Aquarium used as a scenography in the film ‘The Pirates’ by Roman Polanski, which is always aroused by the curiosity of young and old.