Salsomaggiore Terme with its parks and tree-lined avenues, its green hills and its flowerbeds set up in mosaiculture is like a flowered garden .
A small green corner where to breath fresh air and run away far from the hustle and bustle.
Thanks to this itinerary we'll discover how this botanical richness which adorns the city centre, becomes an excellence in the Gavinell Botanic Garden, located only few km far from the city.
Our botanic route starts and develops through the Mazzini urban Park, home of the Luigi Zoja Spa Building in the heart of the city.
Here live 38 of the most prized tree species found in the historical urban garden and some century-old trees.
Many of the trees date back to when the park was originally planted in 1913, including: the giant Sequoia with which the route begins, one of the biggest trees (diameter 150 cm); equally impressive is the Atlas Cedar, of the Glauca variety, which stands tall and proud in the nearby flowerbed, with its beautiful, silvery foliage and its mighty trunk that is more than a metre across.
In the park also lime trees, plane trees, many varieties of fir trees, and domestic pines all find their place, as well as a large variety of ornamental species with plants often arranged in order to enhance their particular growth habit and aesthetic purpose.
All the trees included in the route are identified with explanatory plaques.
The Gavinell Botanic Garden is located approximately 3 km outside Salsomaggiore. There are more than 450 species of medicinal plants and herbs to admire, some of them very rare and native, arranged by family and healing properties. Among them, one of the most notable for its beauty and importance is the extraordinary White Lavender of Salsomaggiore, which is found only in the Botanic Garden.
Visitors can linger in the ‘Hortus Conclusus’, or enclosed garden, a historically accurate reconstruction of an area of medieval gardens used for quiet contemplation. In this section of the Gavinell estate, the gardeners have drawn on period documents and accounts to recreate a garden precisely like those that would have been found in many ancient monasteries and medieval castles, where prayer and meditation went hand-in-hand with working the land and studying the beneficial properties of herbs. The flourishing olive grove of the Gavinell Botanic Garden represents the return of an ancient crop, as olives were grown on the hills of Salsomaggiore in the Middle Ages.
For the most curious travellers we point out that the garden has a Herbalist Shop and a Perfumery, where visitors can sample fragrances, perfumes, oils and cosmetic and food products created with the garden’s precious herbs.