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Giardino della Minerva

via Ferrante Sanseverino, 1, 84121 Salerno, Italy
089252423
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Ranked #6 of 21 attractions in Salerno
Type: Gardens
Owner description: 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.... more » Owner description: 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. « less
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Elmhurst, Illinois
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
20 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

We had a hard time finding the garden and then weren't sure it was worth it. The location is high above the city, so the view was really nice. The garden itself is on several levels, but is rather small. It is very old and would be of greatest significance for people who are interested in herbal medicines. Perhaps it's... More

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LUDLOW
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013

This medical/botanical garden was a little jewel tucked away about the old city. Multi leveled, it was educational and provided gorgeous views of the city and waterfront.

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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

We loved this place. Nice place to spend an hour or two. Taking the elevator up the hill was a unique experience

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Salerno, Italy
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
15 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

This is one of the first botanic garden in Europe. It has been recently restored and you can spend a nice half a day there. The view of Salerno you get from there is just gorgeous. Besides, in the garden there is a nice place where you can enjoy an astonishing variety of herbal teas.

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Nocera Superiore, Italy
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

As being originally founded as a botinical garden for the medical university in Salerno this is one of the oldest botanical gardens in europe. Next to this the view is very nice :-)

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Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
13 attraction reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

Really wanted to see this attraction, but when we arrived we were told the lift wasn't working so not to go..... Very disappointed as it will probably be the last time in Salerno..

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lucianomauro, Direttore at Giardino della Minerva, responded to this review

We are very sorry that you have not visited the Garden. Unfortunately, the elevator will be under maintenance for a month. On the site (www.giardinodellaminerva.it) there are published other alternative pedestrian routes. More

Naples, Italy
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
39 attraction reviews
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

The lovely ladies that ran the B&B we stayed at recommend this place. Although there are signs it's definitely not right off a main road and we were happy they showed us the way. It's basically an ancient garden with all kinds of herbs and plants. We were there in December and it was a little chilly and overcast but... More

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Rome, Italy
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

A small-scale, unique and very romantic place, perched high in the Upper Old Town well hidden away in a tiny alley off the Via Tasso with its grand, dilapidated palazzi. The staff are learned and very helpful, the plants unique and the signing refers back to Ancient Greek understanding of botany, the Garden being an extraordinary survivor from the 12-13th... More

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Leeds, England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Gardens very small but beautiful. Tisanery incredible, I ended up having three cups of tea they were so good. Mint, liquorice and rosemary, wow!! Lovely shop as well selling local produce e.g. honey and chocolate.

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Fiumicello - Santa Venere, Italy
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
13 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

Giardino della Minerva is quite a find in the city of Salerno. We strolled through the old town and found this amazing garden filled with medicinal herbs and flowers. A wonderful botanical garden created in the 12th century. The complex watering system is composed of channels pools and fountains fed from springs and the fish ponds are a delight. Orange... More

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