Parma’s Botanical Garden’s origins date back to 1600. In fact, before the current Garden, existed in Parma the Giardino dei Semplici (Garden of Simple) founded by Ranuccio I Farnese and attached to the Faculty of Medicine where, according to the custom of the time, were cultivated medicinal herbs (the “simple” medicines were all plant based).
The current Garden was established in 1768 by the will of the Abbot Giambattista Guatteri, professor of of Botany, under the auspices of Ferdinand I of Bourbon. It is located in the historical center of the city, covers the same area and has the same size (11,000 square meters) of the time of its foundation.
The central part in front of the greenhouses preserves the appearance of an Italian garden, as in XVIII century project, although the geometry has been modified to some extent over time. The Arboretum, created between the XVIII and XIX centuries, still occupies the eastern part of the Garden, while the garden located in the western part has been recreated according to the English fashion.
In the recent years, we worked on the reorganization and enrichment of the collections and provided for the arrangement of flower beds and borders.
At the Botanical Garden are preserved precious herbals and some tools of Giambattista Guatteri, Giorgio Jan and Giovanni Passerini; we also have an ancient herbarium of medicinal plants of the botanic doctor GB Casapini (1722), the herbarium of the Albertina Sanvitale Countess, with signs autograph of the same (1828-1830), the Luigi Gardoni herbarium (1836-1878), represented by 274 parcels that enclose a miscellany of indigenous and exotic species.
The Botanical Garden today has, as its primary purpose, the preservation of biodiversity “in situ” and “ex situ.”
In addition to the official duties, the activities of the Botanical Garden are expressed in four main areas:
– scientific research (environmental issues, in particular);
– teaching activity;
– environmental education;
– relations of scientific collaboration with local authorities.
Via Farini 90 – 43121 Parma
Tel. +39 0521 903433 – Fax +39 0521 347011