The University of Padua Botanical Garden is the world's oldest university botanical garden (1545). Established to grow medicinal plants for scientific and educational purposes, it preserves its original location and the 16th-century layout.
Many species were first introduced in Italy and Europe through Padua Botanical Garden, which benefitted from the crucial role, estates, and trade routes of the Republic of Venice.
It was inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997 with the following motivation: “The Botanical Garden of Padua is the origin of all botanical gardens in the world, a cradle of science and scientific exchanges, serving as the basis for the understanding of the relationship between nature and culture. It has made a profound contribution to the development of a number of modern scientific disciplines, notably botany, as well as medicine, chemistry, ecology, and pharmacy.”
In 2014, the Botanical Garden extended its plant collection by opening the Biodiversity Garden: five large greenhouses simulating the climatic conditions of the planet's biomes (tropical, sub-humid, temperate, Mediterranean, arid), offering a journey through the history of plants and populations (temporarily closed for renovation).