The Botanical Garden was born as Garden of medicinal plants (simple) in 1545, and it is among the three most ancient Gardens in the world along with those of Pisa and Padua.
Today the Giardino dei Semplici, according to the definition of Botanic Garden Conservation Interational (body which includes the botanical gardens around the world), is "an institution that has documented collections of living plants for the purposes of scientific research, conservation, display and education."
In 2004 the garden was named CESFL (Centre for ex situ conservation of flora) from Tuscany region and place this activity in collaboration with the gardens of Pisa and Siena.
With guided tours, workshops and cultural activities the garden opens to the public and schools to spread the culture of Botany.
Since May 2008 there are tactile and olfactory multisensory pathways for the blind.