The botanical garden in Padua was founded in 1545 and is the world's oldest university botanical garden. This natural and architectural wonder houses nearly 7,000 plant species, a unique variety of specimens recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1997.
The old garden, a circular structure in which a square is inscribed that is divided into four more regular squares, is the product of scientific fervour on the one hand and the ideals of order, balance and geometry that enlivened Padua's cultural landscape during the Renaissance on the other hand.
Recently, a biodiversity garden was added to the old garden, which houses various plant species in different flowerbeds. Most of the world's known species are kept here and educational workshops aimed at schools and groups of students and adults take place here, divided into 10 thematic routes.
Anyone who chooses to spend an hour or two in the Botanical Garden - particularly suited for family visits - should not miss out on seeing the historic trees. Among them is the Chamaerops humilis palm tree from 1585, an oriental banana tree from 1686 and a magnolia from 1796, the oldest in Europe. There are also medicinal plant and carnivorous plant sectors and a corner where entire ecosystems are rebuilt, such as the tropical greenhouse or the Mediterranean scrub. They are all worth a visit.