Are you planning to visit the Genoa Biosphere and want more information about tickets (standard and combined with the Genoa Aquarium), what to see, and what species of animals you may encounter inside?
You’ve come to the right place. I’m Andrea from Discover Genoa, and in this article I’m going to tell you about the Biosphere, one of Genoa’s main attractions.
Are you ready? Let’s get started!
Biosphere Genoa tickets
The Biosphere is one of Genoa’s main tourist attractions and is located in the Old Port, not far from the famous Aquarium.
For more than two decades, this facility has housed a reproduction of a small portion of the rainforest. The extraordinary biodiversity inside the Biosphere makes it unique not only in the city of Genoa, but in the whole of Italy.
To access the Biosphere you can opt for two ticket options:
- standard tickets (i.e., allowing you only entry to the attraction)
- combined Biosphere + Genoa Aquarium tickets (by purchasing a single ticket, you will have the opportunity to gain access to both the Biosphere and the Aquarium).
Let’s look at them together.
Biosphere Standard Ticket
Tickets for Biosphere
This is the standard ticket for the Biosphere. The cost of the online ticket is €5 each and allows you to skip the queue at the entrance of the attraction.
Once you purchase the ticket, you simply save it to your smartphone and show it to the service staff at the entrance of the attraction.
Your Biosphere ticket can be cancelled by 11:59 p.m. the day before your visit, and you are entitled to a full refund.
Biosphere and Aquarium of Genoa Ticket
Aquarium of Genoa + Biosphere
This admission ticket, priced at €32, includes both a visit to all sections of the Genoa Aquarium and admission to the Biosphere.
Once you have purchased your ticket, simply save it to your smartphone and show it to the service staff at the entrance to the Aquarium and Biosphere.
Should you have an unforeseen situation, you can reschedule your visit to the Genoa Aquarium up to 24 hours before your entrance, while your visit to the Biosphere cannot be rescheduled.
What is the Genoa Biosphere?
The Biosphere, visited by about 200,000 people each year, is a structure made of glass and steel with a diameter of 20 meters and a glass area of 1,000 square meters. Its total weight is 60 tons.
It almost looks like a giant transparent glass sphere floating in the waters of Genoa’s ancient harbor, but inside this extraordinary bubble live more than 150 different species of plants, trees, flowers and tropical butterflies!
This magnificent spherical structure of glass and steel, designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano and placed in the Old Port for the 2001 Genoa G8, will allow you to discover many aspects about delicate ecosystems and environmental research.
Although it is not a large structure, it is full of beauty in every shape and size: towering ferns, rubber trees, coffee plants, bananas, cinnamon in short, plants from every corner of the world.
Inside you will also find birds, reptiles and butterflies that create an authentic rainforest atmosphere. In short, it is a must-see experience for lovers of greenery and biodiversity.
Biosphere Genoa animals: what is inside the Biosphere?
This technological facility houses a complex variety of tropical organisms, both animal and plant. The historical botanical collections of the Genoa City Council have provided rare specimens of tropical trees, including the famous fern trees, which are perhaps among the largest in the world grown in pots.
Also featured are plants traditionally used by humans, such as rubber, coffee, cinnamon, bananas, and other exotic fruits, as well as a collection of orchids.
A computerized system controls the climate within the facility, regulating temperatures through convection motions and laminar currents.
This small but rich botanical garden provides a space where birds and reptiles roam freely, representing the beauty, complexity and fragility of tropical forests.
These natural systems, among the richest in biodiversity, are seeing their boundaries shrink rapidly due to the accelerated development of human activities.
Animals found within the biosphere include the following:
- Scarlet ibis
- Moluccan cockatoo
- Superb starling
- Diamond turtle dove
- Mandarin diamond
- American marsh turtle
- Stick insect
- African cichlid
Plant species, on the other hand, are as follows:
- Tree ferns
- Acacia erioloba (giraffe acacia)
- Carica papaya (papaya)
- Ceiba speciosa (bottle tree)
- Cinnamomum zeylanicum (cinnamon)
- Coffea (coffee)
- Couroupita guineensis (cannonball tree)
- Dendrobium compactum (orchid)
- Ficus benjamina
- Ficus sycomorus (sycamore)
- Gossypium (cotton)
- Manilkara chicle (chewing gum)
- Musa acuminata (banana tree)
- Nepenthes (nepente)
- Passiflora phoenicea
- Phalaenopsis amabilis (orchid)
- Piper nigrum (pepper)
- Ravenala madagascariensis (traveler’s tree)
- Theobroma cacao (cocoa)
- Vanilla planifolia (vanilla)
Among the animal species housed, the most famous are undoubtedly the five specimens of scarlet ibis and one specimen of Moluccan cockatoo.
The scarlet ibis gets its name from its uniformly bright red plumage. It lives in the northern regions of South America, from Venezuela to the eastern area of Brazil.
It makes seasonal migrations between different coastal areas and inland wetlands. It prefers swampy environments, muddy areas and shallow bays.
It builds its nests on islands with dense shrub vegetation and in mangroves near river estuaries. It can reach a height of more than 75 centimeters and weigh up to 900 grams, with a wingspan of more than 55 centimeters. The breeding season is from September to December; females lay 3 to 5 eggs, which hatch after about 20 days. The young develop fully in about 35 days and become independent after about 75 days.
Males are polygamous.
The scarlet ibis is a member of the Ibis family, characterized by slender legs, an elongated neck and a long, curved beak.
Despite the presence of abundant numbers of individuals in some geographic areas, this species is included on international lists of protected animals due to negative actions by humans, such as hunting adults, collecting eggs and capturing young for trade as pets in small local markets.
Deforestation and reduction of natural habitats are equally important with regard to the survival of the scarlet ibis, as these actions are consequences of human exploitation.
Another important guest at the facility is Dust, a male Moluccan cockatoo.
This species likes to live in rainforests and coastal forests with dense vegetation, and never goes higher than 1,000 meters above sea level.
This parrot is native to the Moluccan archipelago, particularly the islands of Ceram, Haruku and Saparua, where it inhabits inland coastal forests, although they are relatively bird-poor.
In recent decades, indiscriminate trapping has brought this species to the brink of extinction. Fortunately, recent environmental conservation programs are helping to restore the population of these birds to less critical levels.
Dust has been a Biosphere host for several years, after being confiscated by authorities due to an unsuitable environment that caused him numerous behavioral problems.
Thanks to the patient and lengthy re-education work of the staff, Dust can now fly freely within the facility, allowing the public to enjoy his presence and learn, through his story, information about the species, conservation issues in the wild, and the negative effects that inappropriate animal management can have, both for the animals themselves and for those who manage them.
The experience of entering the Biosphere’s forest allows one to appreciate the unique uniqueness of tropical environments and the severity of their rapid process of destruction.
Since 2017, the Biosphere has also been home to a collection of orchids, the beautiful flowers mainly from tropical regions, the protagonists of myths, legends and artistic representations that have always held a privileged place in the human imagination.
How long does it take to visit the Genoa Biosphere?
Indicative visit time is between 10 and 20 minutes. It is a space of 100 square meters so it is very small and can be visited quickly.
Biosphere Genoa schedules
Here are all the opening and closing times of the Genoa Biosphere.
Aquarium of Genoa + Biosphere
Biosphere Genoa reviews
Is it worth visiting Renzo Piano’s Biosphere Genoa?
Well, this is a rather small facility that can be visited in just a few minutes. Therefore, I recommend that you combine a visit to the Biosphere with a visit to the Aquarium, so you can spend an entire afternoon exploring these attractions.
But what are the reviews from users who have visited it?
The main reviews are positive (the overall rating is 3.5 stars out of 5), and most users were happy to have visited it, especially with children.
Those who did not enjoy the visit, however, complained about the size of the facility and the short duration of the visit.
In conclusion, I would advise against visiting only the Biosphere, as it is really small; instead, I recommend that you purchase the combined ticket with the Genoa Aquarium.
Aquarium of Genoa + Biosphere