Acquario Romano – Rome’s former aquarium

Unusual and interesting building near Stazione Termini

This rather grand building was designed as Rome’s aquarium (and its name is still the Acquario Romano, Roman Aquarium). Located close to Stazione Termini, the building is now used for exhibitions. The only fish and other sea creatures left are those painted and carved on the walls of the building. It’s an interesting setting, and the exhibitions within can be worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Opened in May 1887, the aquarium building was designed by architect Ettore Bernich. A large circular gallery under central the dome provides a light-filled space for looking at exhibits, and an internal gallery offers more viewing options.

In the garden you can see some Roman ruins which have been exposed. These are remains of the Servian Wall, which was built to circle the city in around the fourth century BC. Other parts ofthe wall can be seen nearby at Stazione Termini.

The building has been designated as the Casa dell’Architettura, an architectural cultural centre. The exhibitions it houses are therefore usually architecture-related, and more information can be found on the Casa dell’Architettura website (see right).

The Acquario Romano is located in Piazza Manfredo Fanti, on Via Principe Amadeo (and is generally closed at lunchtimes). Ring the bell by the gateway for admittance.

Useful external links

Servian Wall

Casa dell’Architettura