Friday, 23 November 2012

Padua Botanical Garden

The world's first botanical garden was created in Padua in 1545. It still preserves its original layout – a circular central plot, symbolizing the world, surrounded by a ring of water. Other elements were added later, some architectural (ornamental entrances and balustrades) and some practical (pumping installations and greenhouses). It continues to serve its original purpose as a centre for scientific research -
The Padua Botanical Garden was by far the most disappointing UNESCO site we visited in Italy. Even though Val d'Orcia was a bit of a nothing site, at least we kind of knew that it wasn't going to be much of anything, plus we were just driving through anyway. Padua? We stopped here especially, so I was really expecting something at least as impressive as the Hamilton Gardens (not that I've even been to those).

Turns out the Padua Botanical Garden is TINY. Plus we went when basically nothing much was growing, rendering it even less impressive. To add insult to injury, it was one of the few UNESCO sites where we had to pay an entrance fee. Basically, unless you're a botany nut, it's safe to give the garden a miss.

We did manage to get SOME nice shots...
We often find these in our garden and pull them out when weeding...
After the disappointment of the garden, we stopped by the Basilica of Saint Anthony, which was actually super impressive, one of the best churches we'd seen on the trip. Plus, it's actually where the bones of the Saint himself is kept! Fun.
Padua also had one of the most crazy directions to the nearest McDonalds signs we'd seen on our entire trip - you may have died of starvation by the time you actually manage to find this place.
Behold, not just one but THREE different UNESCO logo shots!
[Flickr set here]

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