Sunday, February 6, 2011

Orto Botanico di Palermo

Orto Botanico, Palermo
The Orto Botanico di Palermo is a great place to get away from the heat, especially if you are in the city during the warmer summer months.  The garden, with its plethora of shade and water features, provides a wonderful place to sit down and relax away from the chaotic that Palermo can become during the day (don't get me wrong, I love a little chaos, but something you just want to step away from it all).

The garden is run by the botany department at the University of Palermo and is located in the Kalsa section of Palermo (I'll have a post about the different "neighborhoods" of the city).  It's pretty easy to find and is adjacent to Via Lincoln and Via Giulia.  Take note that the entrance to the gardens is from Via Lincoln.  There is a small fee to enter.  (Unfortunately, at the time of this post, the web site for the gardens is not up, and I couldn't find anything at the University of Palermo web site, either).

The garden is well laid out and easy to navigate with plenty of things to see.  My favorite was the greenhouse full of different cactuses, and there are thousands of plants species to see.  Also of note was a large Aquarium -- a large pool divided into 24 quadrants with each section housing a different form of aquatic plant life.  When I visited, there was also a large bug collection (large dead bugs, thankfully...!).  If you want, you can view a number of photos that I took when I visited the gardens.

I couldn't get any of my friends to go along with me (Who wants to see plants? one friend asked), but, as I said, I think that it is unique walk around and to support the gardens with your entrance fee.  Plus, in the heat of the day, it's a great place to unwind and get out of the sun.  I walked around the gardens in just under four hours.  You could certainly see it in much less time, too.

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