Museums, galleries and archives

University Museum: Botanical gardens

viale Caduti in Guerra, 127 - Modena - MO - 41121

Phone: 059/2056011 switchboard Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Fax: 059/2056005



The Botanical Gardens are open to the public for free access from April 1st to September 30th Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. The Gardens remain closed from October 1st to March 30th.

Free admission

The Modena Botanical Gardens were founded in 1758 by Duke Francesco III d'Este who set aside a part of the garden for the exhibition of medicinal plants.

In 1765 the "Public Chair of Botany in the aid of the Faculty of Medicine and Aromatic Herbs" was set up. This was followed by the procedure for the construction of a "heater" that made it possible to add exotic plants along side those previously cultivated.

In 1772, with the Great University Reforms issued by Francesco III, the Botanical Gardens passed under the University.

In the same year, following a design by architect Giuseppe Maria Soli, the plots for the cultivation of medicinal plants were laid out and a large tank located to the south was excavated to be used for irrigation and to host aquatic flora.

Since 1775 with the University Reforms, the Botany section became a science with Prof. Roberto Francesco De Laugier, called in from Vienna to chair the section.

He gave a decidedly scientific orientation to the Gardens, arranging the plants according to the Tournefort classification and introducing various species from tropical countries.

The winds of revolution brought in when French troops occupied Modena on October 6th 1796, significantly undermined the university.

In fact, the University changed its name to Lyceum and the Gardens felt the repercussions even at the organizational level.

The acquisition of numerous botanical collections, including the rich Garden of Count Cattaneo of Novara, date to this time.

Around 1820 a program of exchange with 126 Botanical Gardens throughout the world was added.

During this period the Gardens were enriched, in particular, by the Herbarium set up by De Brignoli.

Of great interest was the donation made by Professor Gibelli who bequeathed his library and collection of vascular cryptograms to the Gardens.

In the 1920's the lichen Herbarium of Doctor Baglietto was acquired which, together with a few others already owned, makes the Lichen Herbarium one of the most important historic Italian herbariums.

Later the important private Herbarium collection of General Vaccari and Emilio Chiovenda were acquired enhancing the botanical assets with samples from Eritrea and Somalia.

Guided tours
During the normal opening periods it is possible to have a guided tour for school groups and other numerous groups (associations, tourist groups). Contact the Botanical Gardens in advance at tel. 059/2056011.