PARKS & GARDENS IN SIENA
ORTO BOTANICO (BOTANICAL GARDEN)
A splendid natural area in the heart of the city with many plant species.
Address: Via Pier Andrea Mattioli, 4
Phone: 0577 232 871 / 05184.108.40.206 / Fax: 0577 232 860
Opening Times: Monday-Friday 8.00 - 12.30 / 14.30 - 17.30; Saturday: 8.00 - 12.00; closed on Sundays
Website - More info: http://www.unisi.it/ricerca/dip/dba/Botanica/orto_botanico.htm
The Botanical Garden, Orto Botanico, was founded in 1784 by Biagio Bartalini. The entrance is located by Piazza Sant Agostino. The garden of two and a half hectars lies in a small valley just inside walls located by Porta Tufi of Siena. Various plants are displayed in three different sections of the garden. The first section contains local varieties of plants from Tuscany, including and some examples of herbs used for medicinal, aromatic and culinary purposes. A second section contains aquatic plants, along with more exotic trees and shrubs, unable to withstand the local climate, such as quince, pomegranate and jujube. A third section is dedicated to fruit bearing plants, and plants of the cactus and agavi families. The tepidarium is used to protect plants found in semi-desert regions, such as American cacti and African euphorbia.
The origins of the garden date back to the beginning of the 17th century, when the Orto dei Semplici of the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala was used for the cultivation of plants with medicinal properties. In 1856, the garden was moved to its current location.
This public garden and its fountain are located in front of the Forte di Santa Barbara, a fortress built by Cosimo I of the Medici family after the Florentines conquered Siena. The fortress was opened for public use in 1778. The area inside the Fortress, Piazza della Liberta, is used for recreational activies, festivals, the summer film series. A view of Siena and the surrounding fields can be enjoyed from the height of the bastions of the 16th century fortress. The Fortress is also the home of the Enoteca Italiana, the Italian Wine Cellar, a center for wine. The Enoteca Italiana sponsors exhibitions, events, and conferences on wine all over the world.
ORTO DE' PECCI
A cooperative garden with a fabulous view of the Torre del Mangia. To reach this cooperative garden, walk to Piazza del Mercato, then take the stairs leading down to the field of green below. Take the small street which bears to the right of Via Del Sole. A short walk down this road and past the gate, is pleasant and filled with the aroma of lavendar, rosemary and plants of the Tuscan countryside. The view of the Torre del Mangia and of Piazza del Mercato is fabulous from this peaceful spot.