Zoo in Rome

Written by on 4. February 2020 in Rome Sights with 0 Comments

Zoo in Rome. I know what some of you might think now. Why should I go to the zoo in Rome of all places when the Italian capital offers such an incredible wealth of history, culture and art like no other? The answer ist quite easy. Because it’s worth it! And by the way, this does not only apply to those of you who travel to Rome with children. The Bioparco, the zoological garden of Rome, is the oldest zoo in Europe where animals from the 5 continents are “at home”. Much more than a zoo, Bioparco’s mission is the conservation of endangered species. It is important to learn to respect nature. Everything you should know for a visit to the Rome Zoo, I will tell you in the following article.

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The Bioparco in Villa Borghese – information and tips about the zoo in Rome

What is special about the zoo?

The Biopark is located in the center of the “green heart” of the capital, the Villa Borghese park, and is a place that is intended to educate and involve young visitors, while at the same time respecting and respecting the needs of the animals. By the way, the zoo in Rome is actually not a zoo, but an animal park that was created at the beginning of the last century, hence the name Bioparco. It is characterized by large green areas, with trenches, canals and plenty of space to replace the bars and very suggestive landscape architecture such as waterfalls and rock steps.

Already at the entrance to the zoo in Rome you can tell that this is not a simple zoo. The entrance is indeed monumental. A large marble arch, with huge animal statues over the structure. The first master plan of the Bioparco dates from 1911. The guidelines for urban design and architecture have remained almost unchanged to this day. Other buildings in the biopark date from 1933 and harmonize perfectly with the previous buildings. The areas dedicated to the animals are large and the animals can move, even “hide” when they want to rest. Because they are not “museum pieces”, but creatures that must be protected and respected.

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What animals can I see at the Zoo?

The first animals you meet at the entrance of the Pioparco in the Villa Borghese are already two rarities. The snowy owl with its white feathers and the armadillo that immediately draws children’s attention. In total, the Rome Zoo, or the Biopark, is home to more than 1,100 animals from 200 animal species, including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians from all five continents. The Bioparco di Roma pursues the conservation of endangered species through awareness-raising measures, participation in international nature conservation campaigns and European captive breeding programs.

To name just a few highlights. You can admire these animals in the zoo of Rome: anacondas, lions, leopards, tigers, brown bears, chimpanzees, lemurs, kangaroos, giraffes, elephants, Komodo dragons and many many more.

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In which different areas is the Bioparco, the zoo in Rome, divided?

The Rome Biopark is divided into several areas, all of which invite you to visit and experiment. The most important and popular are the following:

1. The lion enclosure

The original lion enclosure at the Rome Zoo dates from 1911 but was completely restored and inaugurated in 2001 and expanded to four times the size and supplemented with an outside area that is not visible to the public and which is intended to protect the privacy of the animals.

2. The reptile house

The Bioparco reptile house is a protection center for reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates with the aim of sensitizing visitors to the illegal trade in fauna and flora. 98% of the animals in the facility come from police seizures and confiscations.

3. The large aviary of the biopark

Built in 1935 by architect De Vico, it is made entirely of stainless steel and is unique in its size and shape, which enables even the largest birds to fly for a long time without interruption and to offer visitors a unique experience.

4. The Valley of the Bears

The bears have access to one of the largest areas of Rome’s biopark with its 3,500 square meters: the “Valley of the Bears”, which was built in 2000. In the large outdoor area, a waterfall feeds a stream that flows into a large pool between natural rocks. Visitors, regardless of whether they are large or small, can watch the bears through two large windows, also swimming in the water, since the glass front enables a view under the water.

5. The giraffe house

The striking giraffe house, built in 1926 in the perfect Moorish style and crowned with the impressive emerald-green dome in the 1970s, is hard to miss. It was recently restored and technologically adapted, and an exhibition space was added, where visitors can learn the secrets of the savannah.

6. Chimpanzee village

The new chimpanzee enclosure has a multifunctional area of ​​around 2450 square meters, which is located in the area between the large aviary and the reptiles. The outdoor area for the likeable primates is enriched by the landscaping with natural trees, trunks, platforms, lianas and ropes. A waterfall with a water curtain and a small stream complete the ambience.

7. The area of ​​the lemurs

More than 600 square meters of the park are dedicated to the lemurs, an endangered primate group that only lives in Madagascar. Since the film Madagascar at the latest, they have become a favorite of many visitors. Unfortunately, their existence is severely threatened by the loss and destruction of their habitat, poaching and illegal animal and fur trade.

8. The oasis on the lake

At the Bioparco in Rome there is the so-called Oasi del Lago, the oasis on the lake. It is an area that is equipped for picnics and children’s fun around a small lake.

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What are the opening hours for the zoo in Rome?

  • January 1 – March 27: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • March 28 – October 25: 9.30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • October 26 – December 31: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

There are extended opening times in the period from:

March 28 – September 27: 9.30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

(But only on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays)

Special instructions:

  • The last entry is 60 minutes before the park closes
  • Dogs or other animals are not allowed, with the exception of dogs that accompany blind people.
  •  In order to best respect the needs of the animals, the following departments are closed before they close:Wildcats: (lions, lynxes, leopards, tigers): 60 minutes before the park closes
    Chimpanzees: 45 minutes before the park closes
    Giraffes, bears, elephants: 30 minutes before the park closes
    Reptiles: 60 minutes before the park closes

How much is the entrance fee to the zoo in Rome?

However, the ticket costs 16 euros for an adult and 13 euros for children. Children younger than 10 years or less than one meter enjoy free entry to the zoo in Rome.

How to get to the zoo in Rome?

The way to the zoo in Rome is not difficult. It is located directly behind the famous Villa Borghese park, an area that can be easily reached by public transport from the center. Nearby are the tram (number 19), several buses (3, 52, 53, 926, 217, 360, 910), the subway (red line, Flaminio station or Spain). On the side of the Atac, the Roman transport company, you can have the easiest route calculated by public transport.

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What are the services at the Rome Zoo?

The structure of the Bioparco di Roma is very well equipped. There is a bar, a restaurant, a souvenir shop, several picnic areas and toilets. There is also the Bioparco Express, a small train that runs through the entire area of ​​the zoo. Of course, the entire zoo is child-friendly and offers interactive information boards with which the children can interact and learn independently.

Are there any other tips for visiting the zoo in Rome?

With so many animals (more than 200 species), it is especially convenient for those who have children in tow to focus on the map and pre-commit to a route. It is best if you determine this route together with your children and include them closely in the route planning. Because the routes and paths from enclosure to enclosure in this large area can take longer. The view of the favorite animal is a great motivation for tired children.

Now that the most important questions about the zoo in Rome have been answered, there is not much left for me to say except wishing you much fun while visiting the Bioparco of Villa Borghese!

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