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Giardino della Minerva

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Address: via Ferrante Sanseverino, 1, 84121 Salerno, Italy
Phone Number: +39 089 252423
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Today
9:30 am - 1:00 pm
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Hours:
Tue - Sun 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Description:

In the heart of the Medieval town of Salerno, at the back of Fusandola...

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.

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The first medicinal botanical garden in the world

This was probably the first medicinal botanical garden in the world to work in connection with the Scuola Medica Salernitana Hippocratic Civitas. It's a Garden with hundreds of... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 weeks ago
Anton F
,
New York City, New York
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403 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 41: English reviews
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
126 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Set on several levels this hillside garden has a historical and medical background . There are lovely views over the port of Salerno and a nice little cafe for herbal teas. You do need good shoes as there are steps to climb and opening times varied from those advertised.

Helpful?
Thank Kath F
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
119 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This was probably the first medicinal botanical garden in the world to work in connection with the Scuola Medica Salernitana Hippocratic Civitas. It's a Garden with hundreds of specimens from all over the world, arranged over few terraced floors and according to their specific climate or water necessity, and to be used for the cure and treatment of diseases as... More 

Helpful?
Thank Anton F
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

remember the opening times as it closes in the afternoon until 4.30pm. There is a lift up to the Gardens if you do not want to walk uphill too much.

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Thank Gerbil88
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
45 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Do you want to contemplate Salerno and parts of Amalfi from a height? Then this Garden is the place for you. Be warned that it is quite a hike from the City Centre or the Duomo. The path is marked but you have to look for the signs carefully. The Garden itself is nothing special to recommend except that it... More 

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Thank P_Aruna_10
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
299 reviews
213 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This delightful garden is worth seeking out, it may be difficult to locate but on finding it, you will be well rewarded. Even if gardening is not your thing, there is the view across the harbour. The roots, (no pun intended), of this garden go back to the 14th century, when Matteo Silvatico, student and teacher in botany and medicine,... More 

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Thank KTGP
North Vancouver, B.C.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2016

You can follow the signs to the garden along a gentle uphill route or perhaps you can find the lift to make your journey easier. No signs directing you here, so you will need to ask locals. Well worth the effort to escape to this refreshing terraced garden with a fantastic view of the city and its harbour. Illustrates some... More 

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Thank Nvaner
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
28 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2016

Great little place to stop and see some views, beautiful gardens with fountains and lemon trees, small, romantic, a fun walk to get there and back!

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Thank Jon R
Ngunguru, New Zealand
Level Contributor
25 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2016

This place took a bit of finding but the locals were helpful and we wound our way up the narrow lanes till we got there. 9we discovered later there was a lift going part of the way up). The garden dates from medieval times, but was modernized in the eighteenth century by a physician, to teach students to recognize some... More 

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Thank LondonKiwiinlondon
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2016 via mobile

Maybe winter isn't the best time to visit a garden, but you can really see the structure of a place when the plants are dormant. Still had lots of green and trees full of oranges and lemons. The terraces are interesting and the irrigation system fascinating. I notice many of the less favorable reviews are from Italian people - is... More 

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2 Thank brodsky49
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2016

These gardens were lovely to visit - lots of different types of plants and herbs, and a beautiful view overlooking Salerno. Well worth visiting.

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1 Thank Kelvin A

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