The Naples Botanic Gardens – Orto Botanico di Napoli: child of the revolution…
For good and for bad Naples, as most of the rest of Italy, has been dominated by foreign rulers: for good as for bad as the heritage of that rulers became the historical heritage of an area.
The early years of the XIX Century have been quite trouble times. The French Revolution ignited a process that in long terms brought to the modern world as we know it. Nevertheless, it has been the reason of the rise of one of the most controversial historical figures of the history of the world: Napoleon Bonaparte.
Napoleon dominated Europe under an Iron Fist. The Italian peninsula was hit as well. Napoleon is the reason for which you have to go to Paris, and not to Florence, to see the Mona Lisa… Naples became a Napoleonic Kingdom between 1808 and 1815.
The King was Joachim Murat, Napoleon’s brother in law.
The Orto Botanico is part of the package of reforms and public works started by Murat and it opened in 1810, not far from the “Albergo dei Poveri” the Bourbon’s Royal hospice for poor people.
The Naples Botanical Gardens are now part of the University of Naples, Department of Natural Science.
It holds ten thousand different plant species. One of the main feature? The Merola greenhouse.
The Orto Botanico di Napoli timetable is online here.
Guided tours are available by booking. Around the year the Naples Botanic Gardens host special exhibitions and events, such as “Planta”, market fair of wild and cultivated plants, botanical rarities and natural products.
The Botanic Gardens are not far from other amenities such as the Underground Naples Museum or the Capodimonte Park.
The airport and the Circumvesuviana train station are not far as well. In the middle of a very busy city, this oasis with huge trees, waterlilies, mexican agaves and so much more is definitely a Naples must see!