The Botanic Garden of Pisa was founded in 1543 at the explicit request of Luca Ghini, a doctor and botanist from Imola. Called by Cosimo I De’ Medici as a professor at the University of Pisa, he accepted on the sole condition of being able to establish a university “Garden of Simples”. That’s how the oldest university Botanic Garden in the world was created in Pisa, close to the banks of the Arno river. The Garden has subsequently changed location twice: in 1563 by Andrea Cesalpino, a pupil of Luca Ghini, and in 1591 (current location, near the famous Piazza dei Miracoli) by Giuseppe Casabona. The Botanic Garden of Pisa is organized in seven sectors according to historical criteria: Scuola Botanica (Botanical School), Orto del Cedro (Cedar Garden), Orto del Mirto (Myrtle Garden), Serre (Greenhouses), Piazzale Arcangeli, Orto Nuovo (New Garden), Orto Del Gratta (Del Gratta Garden). Each sector houses one or more collections organized on a scientific basis. The current extension of the Botanic Garden is about two hectares and approximately 3,000 plants are cultivated there.
The Botanic Garden and Museum of the University of Pisa contributes with its teaching and training activities to university and school teaching, to the promotion of biodiversity conservation and to the dissemination of scientific culture to a wider public, in the fulfillment of the “third mission“.
The Educational Services of the Botanic Garden and Museum offer the following types of activities to schools, associations and a public of private individuals :
- Educational programs
- Easter, summer and Christmas camps
- Recreational, educational and cultural initiatives
- School-work projects
- Projects with the disabled public
- Participation in regional and national educational projects
- Guided tours
The photographic archive of the University of Pisa contains iconographic and documentary material related to the Botanic Garden.