By admin | May 25, 2017 | Posted in: Uncategorised
The 51-minute drive to the Botanical Garden of Cagliari is certainly worth it, a trip many Forte Village guests don’t mind making at all.
The Orto Botanico, one of Italy’s foremost botanical gardens was established in 1858. Extending over five hectares, the garden is populated with about 2,000 to3,000 different species of flora. It’s an oasis of wonderful greenery right in the centre of Stampace, one of the historic districts of Cagliari.
Owned by the University of Cagliari, the garden divides its plants into three main areas: Mediterranean, tropical and succulent plants. The succulent plants constitute the most important collection of the botanical garden with about 1,000 species, half from the Americas and the other half from Africa. Among the most represented genera include Echinocerus, Mamillaria, Opuntia, and Euphorbia. While some of the specimens are grown outdoors in pots or across the board, others are grown in greenhouses within the garden. The wide variety of stunning vegetation come in different shapes and colours, with some reaching surprising sizes.
The collection of tropical plants presents 60 specimens of 16 different species from various parts of the world, growing on a surface of about 4,000 square meters. The collection includes the giant Ficus Magnoloides and Euphorbia of the Canary Islands, which is 50 years old and occupying an area of 200 square meters.
The garden presents beautiful century-old specimens of Aleppo pine, carob, juniper, olive, oak, mastic, strawberry and many other native species of Sardinia, with their mesmerising scents that contribute to a sensational experience for visitors.
The garden is located in the Palabanda Valley which is particularly favourable to the growth of plants. It is a limestone valley with a unique microclimate as it is protected from the mistral winds that often sweep the city of Cagliari.
You might think the best part about the Orto Botanico is the fountains, palm trees, cacti and ficus trees with huge snaking roots but that is hardly the case. The garden has a rich history dating back to the height of the Roman Empire. Bordering the Roman Amphitheatre and Tigellio’s Villa, the garden contains various vestiges dating back to the pre-Roman and Roman periods. Among these, is a well where Roman actors are believed to have cooled off between shows running in the amphitheatre. The collection also includes a Roman cistern and a caldarium.
The area had been previously owned by the Jesuits, who used it to hold nurseries and vineyards. It was later abandoned and left to decay. The botanical garden was inaugurated in 1866 by Professor Patrizio Gennari who completed the project of his predecessor Giovanni Meloni Baylle and architect Gaetano Cima. At the beginning of the 20th century, the botanical garden had reached its peak, only to be badly damaged during the Second World War.
Long decades of work have been put in to restore the Orto Botanico to its current level of beauty and rich variety that has continued to draw numerous Forte Village Resort guests.