It all began in 1993, when Costa Crociere formed a temporary joint venture with Polo Tecnologico Marino Marittimo, Soprogest and Orion to take over the management of the Genoa Aquarium, at that time at risk of closure after its opening for Expo 1992, and the Bigo panoramic lift. In 1997 came the real turning point with the transfer of control of Costa Crociere to Carnival and AirTours and the establishment of Costa Edutainment.

Right from the start, Giuseppe Costa, Costa Edutainment's chairman, set out on his mission to try to bring cultural facilities to life in an engaging and entertaining way, hence 'edutainment' or educational entertainment. Thanks to this 'magic formula', which has made the Genoese structures profitable, it has been possible to replicate this success in other contexts that suffered the burden of pharaonic investments and maintenance costs that did not compensate the production value, also due to problems of attractiveness.

"We entered all the facilities when they were on the brink of closure, injecting resources, managerial skills and management models, but not only: we also developed a network of public and private entities around the facilities that collaborated with us, with a positive impact on the territory also in terms of employment".

And so began the expansion of the Costa Edutainment group, through the establishment of the Bioparco di Roma, the management of the Città dei Bambini e dei Ragazzi, the Biosfera, the Galata Museo del Mare (under management until 2021) inside the AcquarioVillage in the Porto Antico of Genoa, the refurbishment and management of the Livorno and Cattolica Aquariums, the acquisition of the Mediterraneo Marine Park in Malta, Aquafan, Riccione’s Oltremare, Italia in Miniatura and, lastly, the Caravelle Park and the adjoining Tourist Village.

Future challenges

To close the circle, it is necessary to integrate the last piece of the puzzle, that is Opera Laboratori Fiorentini, of which Costa is President. Through this integration, it will be possible to bond the scientific and cultural side of the aquariums with the world of art, to which Costa has always been very attached, to complete the path towards an accessible and engaging cultural proposal thanks to the edutainment approach, and which can increasingly be an economic engine for our country.

The objective for the future will therefore be to grow and create an integrated group with around 1,300 people and a turnover of 160 million euros, making Costa Edutainment one of the leaders in Italy in the fields of education, entertainment, art, cultural tourism and beyond.

This consolidation of leadership will also be achieved through the acquisition of new parks and new facilities in Italy and abroad.


Achieving these goals and outlining the next ones was also possible thanks to the support of illimity.

"The transaction confirms illimity's strong vocation in supporting companies with high growth potential at times of discontinuity and consolidates its role as a privileged partner for operators specialising in the special situations segment."

Costa Edutainment has, indeed, seen the entry of a 10% stake in IDeA CCRII, managed by DeA Capital Alternative Funds Sgr, as well as the injection of financial resources by IDeA itself, illimity Bank and the Azimut Eltid Private Debt - Capital Solutions fund managed by Muzinich & Co. Sgr for 35 million euros through the issue of a convertible bond.

Keys to success:
Support for a company capable of bringing excellence and innovation to a traditional sector
Tailor-made solution for growth in a complex macroeconomic scenario
Consolidation of illimity as a partner of specialised financial investors