The Carsiana Botanical Garden was founded in 1964 on the initiative of Dr. Gianfranco Gioitti, the founder and first owner of Carsiana, a pharmacist and great lover of botany. Dr. Gioitti was initially supported by Prof. Livio Poldini, a scholar and deeply knowlegeable of the Karst’s flora and vegetation together with Dr. Stanislao Budin, also a passionate botanist. The vision behind this extraordinary project was to provide an avant-garde cultural and educational tool to contribute to the correct use of the local environment and its resources, allowing the interpretation of the main Karst environments and its most characteristic plant species. Carsiana was therefore created as a teaching tool both for the general public and specialists, as well as being a pleasant place characterized by high aesthetic standards. This approach was extremely modern for the time. The plants, all living collections, were presented in their chosen environments and not in a systematic order. It is also worth pointing out that Carsiana is a botanical garden and not a botanical collection, the difference lying in the fact that in the garden, in addition to presenting the collections for scientific, educational and interpretative purposes, the landscape aspects resulting from interactions are also taken into consideration and the geomorphological, vegetational and anthropogenic components are emphasized. Particular attention is thus devoted to the arrangement of the plants under cultivation, to the infrastructure for the use of the garden (the paths and stopping places) and to the natural or, as in this case, semi-natural water features.
Even the very choice of the name, “Carsiana” is emblematic of the great foresight and modernity of its founders. The name itself indicates an sought for connection with the Juliana Botanical Garden in Val Trenta in modern-day Slovenia. The founders of the Garden from the beginning aspired to a “networking” of the Garden with other elements that overcame national borders.
After buying the land, Dr. Gioitti personally oversaw the preparation and maintenance of the Botanical Garden. His passionate and capable guidance was uninterrupted for forty years, until his death in 2009.
Professor Fabrizio Martini and Mr. Eliseo Osualdini contributed to the good care of the garden and to its floristic enrichment. From 1972 the initiative was supported by the Province of Trieste and in 1978 the Garden was finally opened to the public. In 2002 the garden was purchased by the Province of Trieste for just over 130,000 Euros with the aim of enhancing the asset through broader planning and a strengthening of its functions in relation to the conservation of the area and the local environment. From 1st July 2016, as a result of the abolition of the Provincial administrations in the Region, the ownership of the Garden and the management of Carsiana were transferred to the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia.
In 2018 the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia set up a working group with a technical and scientific function for the management of the garden, composed of internal staff who are expert in the field. The Working Group has drawn up the management guidelines, coordinated extraordinary maintenance and the historic-philological restoration activities of the Garden conducted in 2018, making use of the collaboration of excellent gardeners. In fact, the Working Group performs the functions of the Scientific Committee which was firmly requested by Gioitti, so much so that it was included as a condition in the purchase contract.
Since 12th December 2018 the management service of Carsiana has been entrusted through an external contract to the Rogos Cooperative, working in synergy with the Region’s working group to guarantee the achievement and maintenance of the best scientific and aesthetic standards of the Garden.