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Giardino della Minerva

Vicolo Ferrante Sanseverino 1, 84121 Salerno, Italy
+39 089 252423
Review Highlights
Green Retreat

Hidden oasis in the middle of Salerno Old Town. Five levels with heaps of steps, need t suitable... read more

Reviewed 6 days ago
Florence, Italy
via mobile
A total delight

Linger on any of the multiple levels here on a hot afternoon, shaded by bowers, seated on a stone... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
New York City, New York
Read all 623 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.
  • Excellent60%
  • Very good30%
  • Average8%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
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Vicolo Ferrante Sanseverino 1, 84121 Salerno, Italy
+39 089 252423
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1 - 10 of 71 reviews

Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

Hidden oasis in the middle of Salerno Old Town. Five levels with heaps of steps, need t suitable for Thanks we with mobility issues.

Thank gaylefisher
Reviewed 1 week ago

Linger on any of the multiple levels here on a hot afternoon, shaded by bowers, seated on a stone bench with water streaming behind you or bubbling up through a lily pond or trickling down from the spring, and take in the scents, the views,...More

Thank grappa2017
Reviewed 1 week ago

I wanted to come here as I am interested in plants and this place has a good collection of plants specially fruit trees and medicinal plants. Even for those not interested in the study can enjoy the surroundings and relax.

Thank love2flyhigh
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Get your camera ready for the views and take comfy shoes there is some walking to be done when you go to the gardens, but so worth the effort. The views from the terrace are fantastic, and the place itself is enchanting as it keeps...More

Thank Paola R
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

If you are into the healing qualities of plants you will certainly enjoy this garden. It has several tiers of well labeled plants and also offers a wonderful view. It contains a gift shop and a place to have a snack or drink. It is...More

Thank Sharon B
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I am an Italian language teacher and I am just a passionate visitor of Italy, I visit there year after year. This is one of my favorite places, I would be able to hang there for hours. To me it is perfect for those who...More

Thank Maria M
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Stunning multi terrace gardens in the heart of the residential area. Explored some back streets to get there and some great views to be had. Well worth going to see. Also home to 3 very cute cats!! Huge variety of plants growing in a self...More

Thank nino g
Reviewed July 10, 2017

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 July 2, 2017

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 June 28, 2017 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
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