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Giardino della Minerva

Vicolo Ferrante Sanseverino 1, 84121 Salerno, Italy
+39 089 252423
Review Highlights
An interesting garden in the Old Town

Something different--a tiered garden on increasing levels with water circulating every tier... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Lovely garden, amazing view of the bay

I was not actually planning to visit this garden as I'm not a huge botanical fan, but we stumbled... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Read all 599 reviews
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In the heart of the Medieval town of Salerno, at the back of Fusandola torrent and of the old Mediaval walls, a terraced fenced orchard is situated. In it the remains of a glorious and rich history can be still seen: it is the so called Minerva’s Garden. This structure develops along the orchard line which from the Town Villa gardens goes up to the Medieval Castle. Minerva’s Garden is exactly situated in the middle of this ideal itinerary and it is certainly the most interesting example of orchard for the art-historical valuesit represents.What is today really striking for any visitor – thanks to a restoration work completed in September 2000 - is an interesting variety of eighteenth century style elements.Among these the most characteristic one is a long staircase emphasized by cross plan pilasters, with stucco decorations supporting a pergola. The staircase, linking and evidently framing the different levels of the garden, ends up to a belvedere-terrace which is also covered with a pergola, it is built on the old walls and allows a wide and privileged view of the sea including the port, the historical centre of the town and the hills.The water system, composed of basins and fountains, one of them for each terrace, with decorations made from calcareous concretions, shows the presence of abundant water sources which, suitably canalized have over centuries allowed – besides other uses – the cultivation of plots of land. This site is characterized by a special microclimate, fostered by a poor influence of north winds and by a favourable exposure, which still today allows the cultivation and spontaneous propagation of plant species needing a particularly moist and warm climate.Since the twelfth century Silvatico family had owned these places, one of its members, Matteo, physician of the Salernitan School of Medicine, between the thirteenth and fourteenth century, distinguished himself as big expert of the plants used for producing remedies. His work called Opus pandectarum medicinae, is a precious collection of information about semplici, that is on parts of plants which were used for producing remedies.In fact, after a careful examination of the historical documents and sources, scholars have proved the existence in the area of the Medieval town of Salerno, of a garden called giardino dei semplici, (garden from which parts of plants were extracted) founded in the first twenty years of 1300 by the Salernitan physician and botanist Matteo Silvatico, for being used by the scholars of the Medical School. In this space of an extraordinary cultural value, which can be today identified just in the area of Minerva’s Garden, the plants from which active principles used for a therapeutic purpose were extracted, were cultivated;besides this, in this place a real didactic activity was carried out in order to show the students of the Medical school the plants with their names and their characteristics (ostensio simplicium).This background testifies that the garden, situated in the area of the old site of the hortus sanitatis of the Salernitan Medical School, can be considered the oldest botanic garden linked to a school of medicine.
  • Excellent58%
  • Very good30%
  • Average9%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
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Hours Today: 09:30 - 20:00
Vicolo Ferrante Sanseverino 1, 84121 Salerno, Italy
+39 089 252423
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Reviews (599)
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1 - 10 of 64 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

Something different--a tiered garden on increasing levels with water circulating every tier. Designed to grow medicinal plants, all are well labelled and identified. A nice light lunch can be had with wine and great views over the bay. Lots of steps so not for those...More

Thank Stephen2027
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I was not actually planning to visit this garden as I'm not a huge botanical fan, but we stumbled upon it while roaming the old town. Decided to pay the 3 Euro to go in, the garden is really lovely, spread out of 4 levels....More

Thank PrinCessPraze
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We came here to enjoy the first botanical garden in Salerno.. lovely to see so many plants aromatic and therapeutic herbs ..the lemons tree were amazing.. the girls gave us for free.. so kind.. love it.. the entrance us only 3 €.. very cheap...

Thank mariapiadellicarri
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Nice garden with many different plants and an interesting water system in several floors. Quiet and relaxed atmosphere. Very nice view of the city.

Thank hdv5
Reviewed 11 June 2017

Great little place to visit. The garden is fully functioning and is as close to it was on its conception over 800 years ago. Great views over the harbour and Salerno.

Thank pauldresser58
Reviewed 29 May 2017

This small botanical garden is definitely worth a stop. Lots of stairs, but lovely, fragrant and cool, with wonderful views of the city and the coastline.

Thank mcraig11
Reviewed 23 May 2017

A testimony of the medieval school of medicine. Develops on several levels on the side of the hill of Salerno. Very well preserved and maintained in a angle of the town with a nice view.

Thank Gemini8x8
Reviewed 15 May 2017

The gardens are only about a 15 minute walk from city center and 2 or 3 euros to enter but well worth it. They are small but beautiful and have an interesting history. Make sure to sit on the terrace and have an appetizer and...More

Thank kevinjborn
Reviewed 14 May 2017

The Garden of Minerva is a peaceful oasis in the middle of Salerno. Although small it sheds light on the origins of modern herbal medicines and the way in which the plants were planted, studied, and also enjoyed. The view from the garden of Salerno...More

Thank vschart
Reviewed 8 May 2017 via mobile

Before you visit this garden you need to know the history about it.. very interesting place .!! Amazing view of Salerno

Thank Ahmet K
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