A public Aquarium was realized in the frame of the European Territorial Cooperation Programme, ETCP, Greece-Italy 2007-2013. Such a project (acronym APREH) started in 2011 with the University of Salento as Leader Partner, Province of Lecce and Municipality of Nardò as Italian partners, and University of Patra and Municipality of Kefallinia as Greek partners. The proposal of an Aquarium had the aim to promote the archaeological and natural submarine heritage along the coastline of the Salento Peninsula and of the Kefallinia island. The Italian partnership realized an Aquarium at Santa Maria al Bagno (Nardò, Lecce), restructuring an ancient building (Fig. 1) with services, a conference room, and 4 exhibition environments equipped with a total of 17 tanks of variable volume (25 – 2,500 litres), hosting a total of 100 species of marine organisms (Tab. 1, Fig. 2). Four tanks were equipped with reproductions of wrecks: a Junker 88 airplane, an Italian Cargo Ship, an English destroyer of the 2nd World War, and a Roman ship of the 2nd Century b.C. with its cargo of amphorae. The official opening was celebrated on 05 June 2015 (Fig. 3). The structure is the unique public Aquarium functioning in the Southern Italy apart from Naples; it has been open to visitors only during the 13 week ends of June-August, receiving more than 7,000 visitors mainly coming from Province of Lecce and the rest of Italy (Tab. 2). Also due to front end evaluation studies, a plan for the future functioning of the Aquarium is presented, taking into consideration its educative role, and its touristic attractiveness.
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