The Ariis Aquarium is a real gallery of fresh water that is home to fish species from the river ecosystem of Friuli Venezia Giulia.
It is in Ariis, a wonderful little rural village that holds evidence of a natural history of rare beauty beginning with the Stella River and its karst springs, then the Villa Ottelio Park, an ancient windmill and a historic little church dedicated to Saint James.
We recommend that you begin your exploration right at the ancient brick-red palace: this is the Villa Ottelio that, after it was built as a castle in 1257, spent centuries as a home base for power games among the local nobility, especially in the salt trade; but with the ascent of Palmanova as a fortress, its strategic importance vanished: its appearance began to change, little by little turning into a villa, and only in the early 1800s did the Savorgnan family surrender its home to Count Ottelio.
Today, the villa is being remodelled, but we suggest you take a walk in its park, now a Site of Community Importance due to its springs, its moist, stable meadows, and century-old trees; an attractive natural scene enhanced by the important presence of the Stella River.
Not far from the villa you will find the Paolo Solimbergo Aquarium, a modern building that contains various tanks demonstrating the course of a river from the spring to the mouth and the many aquatic species that live there. Also worth seeing is the natural trail in the aquarium, which, carved from a bend in the river, hosts large pools partially covered with cane thickets and waterlilies and surrounded by oaks and weeping willows.