The Aquarium in Genoa is the largest in Italy, the second largest in Europe, after the one in Valencia, in Spain, and the ninth in the world. It is located at Ponte Spinola, in Genoa’s old 16th century port, housed in a building designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano and can be reached from the Genova Principe railway station, from the “San Giorgio” underground train station and from the Genova Ovest motorway exit. A visit the aquarium takes around 2 and a half hours over a total area of 9,700 square metres. The original building (39 tanks) involves a tour through the tanks housing fish and many reptiles, reconstructing the natural habitats of each species for clearly educational purposes. Five large tanks that are particularly interesting can be seen from both floors of the aquarium, and contain, respectively, dolphins, sharks, seals, lamantins and turtles as well as countless other fish species. The dolphins cannot always be seen by the public because they are rotated through 3 tanks, only one of which is visible to the public. The aquarium was enlarged by using the hull of a ship (named Nave Italia) which houses a large number of open tanks. Visitors can dip their hands into some of these open tanks and touch the fish directly (tactile tanks). There are no just marine species but also freshwater animals and those from the rain forests. The water of the aquarium is taken from the sea offshore from the coast and kept in four cisterns beside the two floors. The water is purified and disinfected, then put into the tanks, which are all equipped with mechanical and biological filtering systems.