We arrived at our next destination for the day, the Orto Botanico di Padova, or the Botanical Garden of Padua. Founded in 1545 by the Venetian Republic, this is the world’s oldest academic botanical garden still in its original location. The garden covers approximately 22,000 square meters of land, and is run by the University of Padua.
The garden is comprised of two major areas, one being the original section dating back to 1545, and the other, a more modern section featuring new greenhouses, which is also quite large, and very nice. You enter via the old section.
The design of the garden is attributed to Andrea Moroni, but Daniele Barbaro is now considered to be the real architect of the space. In 1997, the garden was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Fontana delle Quattro Stagioni is surrounded by 18th-century, marble portraits.
Crossing a small bridge, we soon found ourselves in an open field, which turned out to be the newer section of the garden. This is where you will find the Giardino della Biodiversità, or the Garden of Biodiversity, where you can walk through connecting greenhouses, each with a different theme, and kept at different temperatures, for tropical rain forests, desert, and other habitats. There are educational panels along the walls, and I found the entire experience to be a lovely one!
Continuing on, you return to the original garden area. One of the purposes for founding the Botanical Garden was to study the properties of medicinal plants. These were planted inside of a walled space, which still exists today. The wall was built so that locals would not be able to sneak onto the property at night, and steal the plants.
Next up: More from the Botanical Garden, as well as a visit to the famous Caffè Pedrocchi, and then, a delicious dinner to wind up our stay in Padua!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations that may appear. If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from Padua, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!