The Ligurian coast is home to Italy’s largest seaport as well as some of the country’s tiniest fishing villages. Take in both these extremes by spending a day in bustling Genoa, then heading out along the coastline to explore picturesque Portofino and the Cinque Terre. Here's how.
Set next to the aquarium on Genoa’s revitalized historic port, La Biosfera is a small futuristic glass-and-steel sphere that houses a tiny self-contained microclimate. Populated by a chatty parrot, fish, and reptiles, the miniature tropical botanical garden is a delightful refuge from the bustle of the crowded port.
Ponte Spinola, Genova, 16126
Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the biosphere (aka La Bolla or The Bubble) is just 65 feet (20 meters) across, but contains a wealth of tropical animals and plants. The internal temperature and humidity are regulated by a computerized system to maintain optimal living conditions for the resident scarlet ibis, and the lush orchids, tree ferns, passionflowers, and other species.
Take a break from Genoa’s busy Porto Antico and step into this quiet world-within-a-world, included in combo tickets along with other attractions such as the Genoa Aquarium.
Things to Know Before You Go
It takes only a few minutes to visit La Biosfera before or after the port’s headliner, the aquarium.
Photography without flash is allowed inside the biosphere.
Children must be attended in order to enter.
The biosphere is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
La Biosfera is a 15-minute walk from the Genova Piazza Principe train station. From the cruise port, take the metro toward Genova Brignole and get off at the San Giorgio station.
When to Get There
The attractions on Porto Antico can be very crowded on the weekend and during the summer. Go in the morning or late afternoon for fewer people.
The Genoa Aquarium
The largest in Europe, the Genoa Aquarium is the city’s crown jewel, home to 600 species of marine animals from across the globe, populating more than 70 exhibits. With rare aquatic mammals like manatees as well as crowd-pleasers like seals, penguins, dolphins, and sharks, the aquarium is a must for animal lovers.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to La Biosfera?
What else should I know about attractions in Genoa?
- Aquarium of Genoa
- Piazza Caricamento
- Via San Lorenzo
- Dialogue in the Dark Exhibition (Dialogo nel Buio)
- Genoa Cathedral (Cattedrale di San Lorenzo)
- Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato
- Basilica of Santa Maria di Castello (Basilica di Santa Maria di Castello)
- Palazzo Bianco
- Palazzo Rosso
- Royal Palace Museum (Museo di Palazzo Reale)
- Palazzi dei Rolli
- Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)
- Spianata Castelletto
- Piazza de Ferrari