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Giardino della Minerva

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Address: Vicolo Ferrante Sanseverino 1, 84121 Salerno, Italy
Phone Number:
+39 089 252423
09:30 - 19:00
Open now
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Tue - Sun 09:30 - 19:00

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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  • 27
  • 18
    Very good
  • 7
  • 1
  • 1
Beautiful, educational spot

This garden is well worth the trek up some hills or in the communal acensore (elevator). It's a gorgeous four-level terrace of plants and irrigation features. The plants are all... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
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566 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 54: English reviews
2 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago

This garden is well worth the trek up some hills or in the communal acensore (elevator). It's a gorgeous four-level terrace of plants and irrigation features. The plants are all well labeled and are nice to smell and learn about. The views of the seaside are also really tremendous, plus there's a cute giftshop with some items from the plants... More 

Thank erikaow
New York
Level Contributor
119 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2017 via mobile

It is a bit of an uphill walk to get to the garden but it is well worth the effort. The garden is set on multi-tiered levels so you need to do some additional climbing but it's a very relaxing place. The sounds of water surrounds you as water is pumped to the top level of the garden and gently... More 

Thank gjdCairo
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
80 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2017

The Garden is on the steep hillside above the old town, and has good views of the sea, and the coastline south. The garden itself gives an insight into herbal medicine as practise over time since the middle ages. Many herbs are grown as specimens with descriptions of how they were used for healing. There are several levels of the... More 

Thank 911Trevor_R
Berlin, Maryland
Level Contributor
33 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2017

Interesting small Roman Garden beautiful views of the sea. easy to walk to. reasonable price to enter.

Thank Tony M
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
34 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2016

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.

Thank BestAlsFan T
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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!!

1 Thank Flora S
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed 29 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.

Thank Ruth M
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
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 

Thank Georgina J
Level Contributor
116 reviews
98 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
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 

1 Thank spainAustralia
Porto, Portugal
Level Contributor
93 reviews
77 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
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....

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 

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