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Giardino della Minerva

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Address: Vicolo Ferrante Sanseverino 1, 84121 Salerno, Italy
Phone Number: +39 089 252423
Website
Today
09:30 - 16:30
Closed now
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Hours:
Tue - Sun 09:30 - 16:30
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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Cool and Original

Really neat spot in the middle of the city. Very original and pretty. Kids and families would love this, although as a couple, we enjoyed this too.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago
BestAlsFan T
,
Montreal, Canada
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500 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 50: English reviews
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
34 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Really neat spot in the middle of the city. Very original and pretty. Kids and families would love this, although as a couple, we enjoyed this too.

Helpful?
Thank BestAlsFan T
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2016

This is a hidden place in the side of the mountains among the streets, obligatory to visit when you are in Salerno! amazing view!!

Helpful?
Thank Flora S
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2016

As a gardener I was enthralled by this place, I loved it. I was impressed by the irrigation system flowing from top to bottom.

Helpful?
Thank Ruth M
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2016

Interesting for non-gardeners as well as those who are keen on plants. The layout and irrigation system are a marvel of medieval ingenuity and there are also fabulous views. However, you do need to be fit and able to enjoy this site as you need to walk up quite a steep hill to get there and, once inside, you have... More 

Helpful?
Thank Georgina J
Australia
Level Contributor
115 reviews
98 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2016

If you have ideas that this garden might be similar to the gardens in the villas of Ravello, this is not the case. It is a very small garden and made famous by its plants which have medicinal qualities. It is a pleasant place to go in Salerno, which for me, didn't have many attractions (but was a nice city).... More 

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1 Thank spainAustralia
Porto, Portugal
Level Contributor
86 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2016

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....

Helpful?
3 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
112 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2016

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 

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1 Thank Adelina99
Grenoble,France
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2016

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

Helpful?
1 Thank JacquesDebbie
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2016 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 

Helpful?
1 Thank Darren H
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
131 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 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.

Helpful?
Thank Kath F

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