The botanical garden of Portici

Published in Out of Town
31 January 2018

Nine thousand square meters of greenery and more than 60 botanical families to represent the beauty of the territory and its history. A living museum of spontaneous growing Mediterranean vegetation


As the most important collections of a museum, here the botanical varieties represent the beauty of a place, its history and the wisdom of those who brought them together, in a unique and fascinating embrace.

We are in the Botanical Garden of Portici that occupies a portion of the park of the Reggia, commissioned by King Charles of Bourbon in 1738. A green area at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, born partly on top of the lava flow from the famous eruption in 1631.

The gardens - nine thousand square meters of green - were built both upstream and downstream of the royal residence overlooking the Gulf of Naples. In the upper garden, from which you can admire an incomparable view of Sterminator Vesevo, there is the botanical garden, since the Royal School of Agriculture was founded in the Reggia (1872), which today is the Agricultural Department of the University of Naples Federico II.

A botanical garden of seven thousand square meters, with numerous architectural and artistic grafts that make the walk enjoyable even for those who visit the places not only with a scientific purpose: marble busts and fountains, theme beds, pools with aquatic plants "furnish" the green areas”, keeping alive the memory of the ancient gardens.

The inventory of the collections includes more than 60 botanical families: an immense patrimony on which the director Riccardo Motti supervises with constant care, aiming at the valorization and scientific divulgation.

Divided according to a systematic order, the botanical exhibition is organized by geographical distribution and environmental typologies: there are raised conifers, flora of the Mediterranean, but also magnolias and plants from Central and South America, Australia, South Africa and of Eurasian origin.

The famous Serra Pedicino houses a collection of epiphytic plants (plants that live on other plants), while a stone structure houses the Primula palinuri, typical of Campania, Basilicata and Calabria.

Adjacent to the historic garden and in the shadow of the oaks, the fern garden is one of the most fascinating corners of the Garden. From here you can reach a palm grove that houses twenty-five different species and specimens of Plumeria and Grevillea robusta.

The greenhouse of the "succulent" plants, improperly called "fat", is the real jem of the Garden. Over four hundred species coming from the African and American deserts: Cactaceae, Aizoaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Didieraceae and Apocynaceae. Above all stand the carpelliferous and staminifera of Welwitschia mirabilisnd out, a desert plants perfectly which adapted in the Botanical Garden.

The structured and anthropic green of the historical garden, which today is a botanical garden, perfectly interacts with the view of the spontaneous and wild nature of the surrounding forest: a living museum of spontaneous Mediterranean plant formations.

The Garden hosts numerous gatherings, meetings, and events of scientific and informative nature. Among these we point out "Mediterranean and surroundings" that this year will celebrate its fifteenth edition. It’s a two-day event, held in May, dedicated to the market of plants and products for natural well-being, with educational activities, games, guided tours and shows for adults and children. For the occasion, the splendid Herculanense Museum is open, revisiting the original museum vocation of the Reggia and the charming collection of agricultural machinery can be visited.


To learn more, visit www.centromusa.it