Northern Italy’s foremost natural park was opened in 1969 by wealthy architect Alberto Avesani with a remit to research and aid conservation of rare animal breeds. Today it covers 40 hectares (59 acres) of oak forest and grassland and is home to
1,500 animals from 250 species. A visit to the park combines a safari park with a zoo dedicated to rearing rare breeds. The five-km (three-mile) self-drive safari through the African savannah allows visitors the chance to observe wild animals from all five
continents roaming free; expect to see lions, endangered rhinos and red pandas as well as giraffes and bison. The Faunapark is more like a conventional zoo, dedicated to breeding animals in current danger of extinction such as snow leopards, tigers,
spectacled bears and lemurs; they are all housed in spacious enclosures that mirror their natural living conditions. Recent additions to the zoo are the terrariums full of reptiles, snakes and fish; Dinosaur Park, packed with animatronic prehistoric
creatures; and a botanical trail that leads through the forested gardens of Faunapark to a tropical greenhouse packed with rare orchids and other botanical oddities such as carnivorous plants.
Località Figara 40, Bussolengo. Open Mar–Dec daily:
Faunapark Mon–Sat 9am–4pm, Sun 9am–5pm; Safaripark Mon–Sat 10.30am–2.30pm, Sun 10.30am–3.30pm. Admission adults €20, children under 13 €15, children under three free. Best accessed by car along the E70 from Venice. Take exit Verona Nord on to E45 and follow signs to the park.