The Botanical Garden was founded in 1543-44 by Luca Ghini (1490-1556), naturalist, doctor and botanic from Imola. It is the first University Botanic garden in the world. It was originally built by the river Arno, then moved to the current site in 1591 and gradually expanded up to the current size of 3 hectares. Today, only six big sandstone baths remain from the original display. It hosts plants from 5 continents: African and American succulent plants; aromatic plants from Mediterranean maquis; species from Tuscan swamplands; many centuries old trees and many others. The garden contributes to University didactics, scientific research, conservation of biodiversity and promotes educational and didactic activities oriented to school classes and to the general public.

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