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Giardino della Minerva

Vicolo Ferrante Sanseverino 1, 84121 Salerno, Italy
+39 089 252423
Review Highlights
Lovely Gardens with an Incredible View

The gardens were lovely and set out quite nicely. The history behind the gardens was also very... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Liam E
A romantic garden...

This charming garden is not only beautiful, but interesting and informative. It is situated on... read more

Reviewed 14 November 2017
Oakland, California
Read all 719 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 good29%
  • Average8%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
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“herbal tea” (4 reviews)
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Vicolo Ferrante Sanseverino 1, 84121 Salerno, Italy
+39 089 252423
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1 - 10 of 80 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

The gardens were lovely and set out quite nicely. The history behind the gardens was also very interesting. But by far the best part of the attraction is to climb to the top of the tiered gardens to a breathtaking view over Salerno and the...More

Thank Liam E
Reviewed 14 November 2017

This charming garden is not only beautiful, but interesting and informative. It is situated on several levels which provide views over the city and sea.

Thank Barbara_Antle
Reviewed 14 November 2017

A nice place to mooch around up from the old town. Great views of the city and a lovely spot for a cup of fruit tea on the terrace. Very calm and relaxing setting with a fascinating history of plant based medicine from the middle...More

Thank Dave_B_F
Reviewed 8 October 2017

If on foot there's a significant climb to the gardens. Luckily we had a car so it wasn't an issue. Only 3 euro entrance fee provides you with fantastic garden tranquility with spectacular views over Salerno and its bay.

Thank B1714D
Reviewed 5 October 2017

Loveliest garden on the slopes - with a fantastic view over the city of Salerno and the bay. It is amazing that somebody could build such a beautiful garden here.

Thank HelloBalou
Reviewed 1 October 2017

We spent a lovely hour here wandering around the different levels of this restored medeival garden. The plants are all laid out and labelled - though most were not in flower in September it was still very tranquil and beautiful. There is an amazing history...More

Thank CZLB
Reviewed 24 September 2017 via mobile

Steeped with amazing history I was so thrilled we eventually found this medicinal garden. The view out over the bay was breathtaking! We went later in the afternoon so colours were amazing. The scanning of each plant's bar code was easy to do, but disappointed...More

Thank Julie B
Reviewed 15 September 2017

Perhaps this garden has more significance than I realize but it is quite small and, to me, didn't appear to be too spectacular. €3 entry fee and it doesn't take long to cover. It can be accessed by the public lift from the street behind...More

Thank DM S
Reviewed 28 August 2017 via mobile

Totally worth a visit if you're in Salerno. Interesting garden on several levels with fabulous views of the city. Lovely cafe (if a little pricy) with outdoor seating. Very nice shop selling handmade soaps and oils with ingredients from the garden as well as heavenly...More

Thank Nadia S
Reviewed 17 August 2017 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
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