Orto botanico di Pisa

botanic garden and museum in Italy

The Orto botanico di Pisa, also known as the Orto Botanico dell'Università di Pisa, is a botanical garden, and the University of Pisa takes care of it. The garden is at via Luca Ghini 5, Pisa, Italy. It is open weekday mornings and it does not cost money to see it.

Orto botanico di Pisa, general view.
Botanical school.
Old institute building.

The garden was started in 1544 under Cosimo I de' Medici as the first university botanical garden in Europe, and it was put under the care of the famous botanist Luca Ghini of Imola. In 1563 the garden was moved from its original place near a river (now the Medicean Arsenal) to one near the convent of Santa Marta. In 1591 the garden was again moved to a third place, where it still is. From these early times, the garden has contained a gallery of natural objects (now Pisa's Museo di Storia Naturale), a library (now part of the university library), and portraits of its directors throughout the centuries. It also includes one of the earliest iron-framed hothouses built in Italy.

Today there are different sections in the garden containing the botanical school, gardens, ponds, greenhouses, and various buildings. Major collections include herb gardens and arboreta, as well as the old botany institute, built 1591–1595, with a facade ornamented with sea-shells.


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