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A green heart in the city

creato da Antonio Aizza ultima modifica 20/06/2008 15:10

Often neglected by the tour guides, botanical gardens offer a much needed refuge from the overload of sights and sounds of many Italian cities. Here are three to whet your appetite . . .

Padua University Botanical Garden Padua University Botanical Garden

The first botanical garden in the world was created in Padua University. The garden still boasts its original structure some 450 years after it was first opened and contains over 6,000 plant varieties in its circular plan garden.
Padua's botanical garden is a listed UNESCO World Heritage site thanks in part to its contribution to the development of many modern scientific disciplines. In its justification for the garden's inclusion in the prestigious list UNESCO cites: "the Botanical Garden of Padua is the original of all botanical gardens throughout the world, and represents the birth of science, of scientific exchanges, and understanding of the relationship between nature and culture".
Padua's Botanical Gardens, Via Orto Botanico. Phone: +39- 049-8272119. Fax: +39-049-8272120

Siena University Botanical Garden
The gardens extend over 20,000 m2 and thanks to the submediterranean climate house a wide variety of outdoor plants. The garden moved from its original site in the mid 1800s and is made up of three distinct sections: one dedicated to native species, another to aquatic plants and the third to fruit-bearing plants and is used for research purposes by the university.

Siena's Botanical Gardens, Via Mattioli 4. Open weekdays. Phone +39-0577-232874

Villa Corsini in Rome
Villa Corsini should really be the capital's official botanical garden but, given its size and usage, it is considered more a park than a garden. It's a great place to go for a walk with its fountains, lawns and woods as well as admire the old glasshouses and some very rare plant species. The garden was donated to the State by the Corsini family in 1872 and was opened as a botanical garden. Take time out in Rome and visit its orchid house or stroll along the tree-lined avenues and flowerbeds.

Villa Corsini, Largo Cristina di Svezia, phone: +39-06-686.4193. Open weekdays and holidays until 12:30.

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