Planted in 1545 by Padua University’s medical faculty to study the medicinal properties of rare plants, Padua’s World Heritage–listed Orto Botanico is the world’s original botanical garden. The oldest tree is nicknamed ‘Goethe’s palm’; planted in 1585, it was mentioned by the German writer in Italienische Reise (Italian Journey). The garden is still used as a learning and research environment; studies now focus on the preservation of rare indigenous plants and the maintenance of biodiversity, which is celebrated in the high-tech Garden of Biodiversity.
Guided tours and themed itineraries are available. Check the website for details.