Giardino della Minerva

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

It is a botanical garden located in the ancient part of Salerno, next to the western walls of the medieval town along the Fusandola torrent. It was used during the Middle Age as an education space for the students of the Salerno Medical School; because of this it is retained the precursor to the modern botanical gardens. The vegetable gardens result to be property of the Silvatico family since the 12th century, but the last owner donated it to the Asilo di Mendicità in the years after the second world war; then it was given to the municipality of Salerno. Among the architectural elements of the period between 17th and 18th century, the most characteristic one is the long staircase with pillars with cruciform bases, which support a wood pergola. The stairway connects the various terracing levels of the garden and it is built on the ancient walls of the city, in order to allow a wide and privileged view of the sea, hills and old town. It has a complex system for the water distribution composed of channels, basins and fountains (one for each terracing), which allowed the preservation of the vine yards. The therapeutics of Salerno has been recovered in the gardens as the studies of medical Bothan, which are based on the “dottrina dei quattro umori” which refers to the ancient “teoria degli elementi”. The disease is thought as the exceeding presence of a humor, which must be balanced using a natural product whose nature is different from the one of the bodily fluid. Because of this, the vegetables’ classification uses the same criteria implied in the studies about the ones of human beings. The flowerbeds of the first terracing are divided into four sections thanks to two orthogonal paths.
Two permanent exhibitions are present in the garden: the first is composed of painted, middle-age shingles found in the attic of Capasso palace (a building inside the garden) during the refurbishment activities, while the second collects medieval, botanical drawings. There are other exhibitions during the year regarding the world of the Medical School of Salerno, botanic and environment.

The plants
More than 200 vegetal species grow inside the garden; they include not only rare species but also the most used during the Medieval times such as healing plants, like the legendary mandrakes, which was thought to have extraordinary virtues, Colocasia esculenta (quoted by Silvatico in 1300) and the Indian ginseng (Withania somnifera).

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


Vicolo Ferrante Sanseverino, 1 - Salerno(SA)

089 252423

Altre info

Adulti euro 3.00; ridotto euro 1.50 (gruppi e studenti); gratuito per accompagnatori di gruppi e bambini 0-6

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Nei mesi invernali 9:00-13:00; nei mesi estivi 10.00-13.30 e 17.00-20.00

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