The Civic Marine Aquarium of Trieste was inaugurated in 1933 on the premises of one side of the building that then housed the city’s Central Fish Market. The building, which overlooks the sea, was erected in 1913 to a design by the architect Giorgio Polli and currently houses the “Salone degli Incanti”, a space dedicated to exhibitions and cultural meetings. The marine aquarium occupies the ground floor and the first floor of the part that includes the clock tower on which a bell tower stands.
In reality, the bell tower contains a tank of water taken directly from the sea and which, through a powerful pumping system, is pushed into the tower at a height of about 10 meters. When the large settling tank is filled, the water, by gravity, is delivered to the ground floor where there are about thirty tanks. The advantage of this system consists in the continuous replacement of the water while leaving its plankton content intact.
The tanks are of different sizes, the largest contain environments of the upper Adriatic, such as the breeding of mussels, while the smaller ones host the typical species of the Mediterranean Sea, including lobsters, lobsters, sea bream, sea bass, scorpion fish, snappers, morays, mullets and murmurs. The various groups of coelenterates, annelids, molluscs, echinoderms, crustaceans and fish come mainly from the Gulf of Trieste.
On the ground floor, in the large octagonal tank of about 10,000 liters, small sharks and rays are housed.
The Vivarium occupies the first floor of the marine aquarium and contains numerous species of amphibians and reptiles Among the traditional terrariums it is possible to observe the three species of vipers of the North East of Italy, while, in the large vertical terrarium, you can admire large specimens tropical such as iguanas, pythons and boas which, in rotation, are hosted in the Vivarium.