Sunday, June 17, 2012

Rome: One of Europe’s oldest zoological gardens

Posted by Jo Linsdell  |  No comments

Inaugurated in 1911 and situated in the historical park of Villa Borghese, Rome's BioParco it is today one of Europe’s oldest zoological gardens.

Map of Rome Zoo

Carl Hagenbeck’s original project led to the construction of a 12 hectare park where animals could roam freely: this was a completely new concept that turned the Rome Zoological Garden into one of the most modern zoos of its time. 

In 1935  the zoo was enlarged to its current surface area of 17 hectares. The new area, designed by architect Raffaele De Vico, includes the current reptile house and a large geodesic shaped aviary, which is still unique in its kind.

The zoo was later privatised until the current Foundation was set up: large restoration works and an entrepreneurial style of management have turned it into a modern zoo. In line with the World Zoo Conservation Strategy (a document adopted by WWF International and drawn up by the International Union for Conservation of Nature - IUCN) the Bioparco plays an active role in environmental education and the conservation of endangered species.

Rome zoo is home to a wide variety of animals from the very small 0-2kg to the very large 500kg+. You can find a list of the animals at along with some interesting facts about each one.

Giraffes at Rome Zoo

How to get there:

By Tram: No. 19 - “Bioparco” stop
By Bus: No. 3 - 52 - 53 - 926 - 217 - 360 - 910
On the Underground: Piazzale Flaminio, Via Veneto, Spagna – RED LINE ‘A’
By car: G.R.A. exit “Salaria centro – Parioli”
On foot: Piazzale del Giardino Zoologico No. 1

Ticket prices:

Public events that take place on Saturdays and Sundays are included in the ticket costs.

Children over 1 metre and under 12 years of age€11.00
School gruop leaders and accompanying parents€11.00
National servicemen, security forces (upon presentation of ID)€11.00
Senior citizens (60+) everyday except Wednesdays (€ 4.00*)€11.00
Groups of 15 or more adults€11.00
€ 1.50

- Children under 1 metre  
- Disabled people
- Essential carers for disabled people 

The Zoo is open every day of the year except for 25 December  Christmas day.

Something extra to remind you of your visit:

A trip to Rome zoo makes for a lovely family day out. It was also the inspiration behind my children's picture book Out and About at the Zoo

Just one of the fantastic reviews for Out and About at the Zoo:

5 Stars 

"What is your favorite animal to see at the zoo?  Author and illustrator Jo Linsdell both describes and pictures a fun day at the zoo that a young lad has with his mum.  They get to look at colorful parrots, tall giraffes, screaming monkeys, meat-eating lions and tigers, striped zebras, scary crocodiles with big teeth, hopping kangaroos, bathing hippos, and huge elephants.   But how does the boy feel when it’s time to go home?   How would you feel?

Children love to visit the zoo.  Our two boys certainly did when they were little, and we still do even today.  Jo Linsdell is a freelance writer and artist who is originally from the United Kingdom but now lives in Rome, Italy, with her husband and their two young sons.  The rhyming text and colorful pictures in Out and About at the Zoo not only make a truly fun story for children to read or have read to them and imagine what it’s like, but will also help to familiarize them with the different kinds of creatures that they will discover at the zoo when they do go."

By Wayne Walker, Home School Book Review

Get your copy now from and Amazon European sites.


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