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Trotula De Ruggiero first Lady of Medicine in XIth century Salerno

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Trotula De Ruggiero first Lady of Medicine in XIth century Salerno

History of medicine (the “Mulieres” of Salerno were female doctors in Medieval Salerno), the passion for botanics (the Garden of Minerva was the botanical garden of the Medical School of Salerno). Medieval art and history of Salerno city.


Young people, adults and children, Italians and foreigners speaking English. All those interested into deepening their knowledge of the history of Salerno, its bind between the Medical School of Salerno and the use of medical herbs.

Salerno, year 1099 AC, Sibilla Da Conversano is on the verge of her life for having sipped poison from the wound of her husband, Roberto II, Duke of Normandy, injured in a battle during the First Crusade. Fortunately, Trotula De Ruggiero, one of the first Ladies of Medicine in Italian history, does not give up! With the help of Abella, her faithful assistant, she involves her students in the preparation of a powerful antidote, made by the wise mixture of four medical herbs gathered in the Garden of Minerva, “Giardino della Minerva”. If the challenge comes to a success, every student will get a Certificate of Value.

But now do not hesitate, you are also needed! Make sure we find you at the Villa Comunale of Salerno and do not forget to bring an ampulla for analyses!

Clelia, “entered” in the role of Trotula, the most famous Lady Doctor in the almost thousand-year history of the University of Salerno, will help you comprehend the Medieval past of this splendid city, taking you to discover the most representative places of the city and the life of Doctress Trotula, describing in a popular way the salient aspects of the Medical School of Salerno in the period of its greatest splendour during the XI and XIIth century (female doctors, diagnosing the ill, use of plants for healing purposes, theory of the 4 moods of Hippocrates, an ancient Greek doctor). You will put on the shoes of a student in the Medical School of Salerno coming from Northern Europe, will explore the Botanical garden, known as the Giardino della Minerva (Garden of Minerva), and will be charged to
look for botanical species with anti-poisonous qualities. You will learn to recognise certain plants and while enjoying the breathtaking landscape, will taste tisane of beneficial effects in the suggestive tisanehouse of the Botanical garden, in an bond of knowledge which links the Medical School of Salerno with the natural world of herbs.


  • Meeting at the Villa Comunale of Salerno. The "Villa Comunale" is a public garden which faces along the sea, lungomare di Salerno. The meeting is right aside the Verdi Theatre.
  • Acquisition of the basic techniques of medical analysis of the XIth century
  • A guided visit (a licenced tour guide) along the historical city centre of the Salerno from Via Mercanti, historic Trade Route of the city, to Romanesque Duomo
  • Exploration of the Garden of Minerva, Giardino della Minerva and a research of various herbs with the expert’s assistance
  • Giving of “thank you” certificates to the “university students” for accomplishing the task

Commences : Salerno, Italy

Duration : 4 hours

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