Padua’s Botanical Garden

Padua’s Botanical Garden is a ‘hortus conclusus’, a “walled garden” in which, at night – to quote D’Annunzio’s lyrics – “in the darkness, sources reveal secrets / and rare stars gush out, one by one”.

The garden’s current structure – a square, inscribed within a circle – has remained essentially the same since its foundation in 1545. This is the oldest university garden in the world: a record due first and foremost to its unchanging position, in the historical part of the city, between the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua and the Abbey of Saint Justine.

Padua’s University was already famous back then, above all for its experiments in medical science and pharmacology. The gardens were created in order to recognize beyond doubt certain medicinal plants, which at the time were the object of numerous identification mistakes, not to mention frauds that often posed a danger for public health. Hence a great number of botanical species – approximately 1,800 – were introduced and cultivated in the garden since the beginning. And a circular wall, enclosing the property, was elevated to discourage constant nighttime thefts of its precious vegetable content.

Despite this pragmatic origin, a “walled garden” is traditionally considered a paradisiacal place. Its closure, indeed, opens onto the beauty of the universe.

Photos via:

Padua’s Botanical Garden

Via Orto Botanico, 15
+39 049 8272119 - Info: +39 049 8272123 Fax +39 049 8272120
+39 049 8272120


Most Read

Røst Milano: authentic flavors

by Barbara PalladinoRøst is the story of a journey that starts from the very name of the restaurant – an homage to...

Under the starry sky of Val Gardena

by Barbara Palladino A wonderful night in a mountain hut, surrounded by one of the most beautiful landscapes in...

Manifattura Tabacchi: new urban Renaissance

by Barbara PalladinoManifattura Tabacchi is a rationalist industrial complex inaugurated in 1940, opposite the Parco delle Cascine (Cascine Park) in Florence. Once...

Gucci Garden: fashion, luxury and wonder

by Barbara PalladinoLocated in Palazzo della Mercanzia, at the very heart of Florence, Gucci Garden straddles reality and the imagination, summing up...