The botanical Ravino Garden, in search of that path of Eden



«One more year for the Botanical Giardino Ravino becoming path beyond space and time to the Divine research»

One more year, one more unit of the current date, 2017. A more year to MERISTEMA, the annual meeting of Giardini Ravino, the X edition celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of Henry D. Thoreau, transcendentalist philosopher, considered one of the most underrated minds of America. As misunderstood his name, as great his influence: Tolstoy, Gandhi, ML King, Mandela, the beat generation, folk singer, Bob Dylan and Patti Smith were inspired by Thoreau and also filmmakers such as Peter Weir with “Dead Poets Society” and Sean Penn with “Into the wild”. Anarchists, radicals, pacifists, vegetarians, environmentalists, advocates of descent happy, supporters of the gift economy, and even designers owe much to Thoreau.

Son of a manufacturer of pencils, he perfected the mixture of clay and graphite, which constitutes the mine, to obtain a scale of hardness for different uses of the pencil graphics. He retired to the wood, where he built a hut and planted a vegetable garden living only on self-production and barter or on free offer with few neighbors. He went to prison for refusing to pay a tax to finance the slave war of the USA to Mexico and theorized his position in a book, that civil disobedience which founded a specific political practice. 

There are so many “more” this year to Giardini Ravino.

The photo exhibition of Gino Di Meglio in April; that one of photojournalism d'Antan by the Carbone Archive in June; in July that one of the Global Film Festival; in September the institutional MSF. In May, July, August, the Moby Dick room, evocative exhibition space of the Giardini Ravino, recovered from an ancient cistern, will host exhibitions of paintings: figurative paintings by Antonella Tomei, abstract paintings by Gianni Mattera, watercolor views by Paolo De Santi, “the painter of dreams”. There is the “more” of the classical music: concerts of “Note sul mare” in July and the stages of “Ischia musica” in October, organized by the teachers of the Conservatory of Venice for the boys in high school age, who come here from Italy and the world. There is the “more” of the theater: every Friday, from June to September, the company by Corrado Visone will stage “Alice in Wonderland Garden”, loosely based on Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece: the botanical garden will be set and inter-actor. There is the “more” of the work in progress: at the Giardini Ravino is preparing a sensory journey where visitors with limited motor skills will find a full accessibility and those with limited eyesight will live a more complete experience, but not just them.
The concept of “garden” includes a spatial de-limitation. What does the concept of man include? The Patriarchs, crazy Abraham, blind Isaac, crippled Giacobbe, stuttered Moses, represent humanity, created in the image and likeness of God, but is different in the limit. The handicap is therefore a metaphor of the human condition of those who are skilled and who is not. Sometimes, for example, the view is not enough. It is not the vision of Christ to Thomas to believe in the resurrection, but put finger in the wound of the ribs to proclaim «My Lord and my God! ». So, in the new path of Giardini Ravino, after the sector dedicated to the view, will be those of touch, smell, taste, and hearing. The touch is the first of the senses developing in the maternal uterus, extended over the entire body surface and attests the achievement. The smell leads back to the animal nature, works long distance and causes repulsion or attraction. It is the smell to appreciate the individual flavors in its qualitative nuances; the taste concerns only five major categories, on which it expresses only a quantitative assessment: bitter, sweet, sour, salty, spicy. The taste has a feature all its own: to perceive its object, it has to embed it. All religions have as the center of the cult the sacrifice of the food, the man offering it to God and God to man: nature is the body of God in the world and this is recognized metaphor. This body has a voice, audible inside the water, in the rustle of the wind and leaves, in the singing of birds, in the hum of insects. When we listening to, looking, touching, smelling and eating the body of the Spinoza’s “Deus, sive natura”, we can discover us, with all our humanity, in the presence of the divine. Even at Giardini Ravino.


Luca D'ambra
Giardino Botanico Ravino; Residence e B&B Villa Ravino; s.s.270 (loc.Citara) -80075 Forio D'ischia;
tel./fax+39-081-997783; mobile +39-3294983923;mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; - -


Due to the COVID-19 emergency, we have planned for you a different, individual visit, in order to respect the governmental and regional regulations about the social distancing along with the use of the sanitation and hygiene products.

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