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Orto Botanico (Modena)

Botanical Gardens

Orto Botanico

This isn't a park but a working research garden, owned by the University as part of its department of botany. Duke Francesco III founded it in 1758, on land that had been part of the palace gardens.

Even if it's not really for show, this will be a treat for plant lovers and anyone else who needs some time in a green oasis in the heart of the city. There is an arboretum with over 200 trees, special zones for mountain and lowland plants, and plenty of flowers, including over a hundred species of iris.

From the beginning the Gardens have always concentrated on exotic species. Those from warmer climates are kept in the rather elegant greenhouse called the Serre Ducali. Some of these came from Eritrea and Ethiopia when they were Italian colonies. There's a separate greenhouse for succulents.

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Viale dei Caduti in Guerra

Hours: Open Apr-Jul and Sept, Mon-Fri 9-1pm; free. Guided tours available by appointment, +39 059 2056011

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Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Viaggiart