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Giardino della Minerva

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Address: Vicolo Ferrante Sanseverino 1, 84121 Salerno, Italy
Phone Number: +39 089 252423
9:30 am - 1:00 pm
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Open now
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Tue - Sun 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 22
  • 16
    Very good
  • 5
  • 1
  • 1
Loved the garden and its views.

We loved the garden. It was relatively easy to find. And located in an area with amazing views. My only regret is that there was not much information to be had on the plants and... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
Paris, France
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426 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 45: English reviews
Porto, Portugal
Level Contributor
86 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

So, if you are expecting a nice garden for you to check out atop the city, you're going to be deeply disappointed as I was. First, I got there after climbing tight streets stinking like pee all over the place. Second, only to get there and see a closed door. Apparently it is only open in some periods. Seriously....

Thank fxsfua
lucimau, Direttore at Giardino della Minerva, responded to this review
Google Translation

Mi spiace se lei ha trovato il Giardino chiuso, ma gli orari di apertura sono pubblicati dappertutto (Facebook, sito web,... More 

Paris, France
Level Contributor
97 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We loved the garden. It was relatively easy to find. And located in an area with amazing views. My only regret is that there was not much information to be had on the plants and their uses. There is a bookwhop but with very little stock in English on the plants to be found there. We did buy some fabulous... More 

Thank Adelina99
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This is a number one must: all thehistory od the Salerno school of medecin and also to see real pistachos growing; beautiful view and a very relawing atmosphere

Thank JacquesDebbie
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The gardens are in the higher part of salerno reached easily by the public lift. The gardens are amazing, the views fantastic, the only negative point was the idiot who looked over the cafe, it was understandable he did not want to assist the public, he didn't want you sat at his tables and did everything to make you go... More 

Thank Darren H
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
129 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2016

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.

Thank Kath F
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
120 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2016

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 

Thank Anton F
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2016

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.

1 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 June 27, 2016

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 

Thank P_Aruna_10
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
319 reviews
231 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2016

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 

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 

Thank Nvaner

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