Vegetable Gardens in via Salgari

The “Orti di via Salgari” Association takes care of the 420 vegetable gardens – located in the street “via Salgari” – of 40 sq. m. each. It is the first and largest municipal vegetable gardens complex of the city of Bologna and of Italy. It has been set up in the ‘70s in line with the establishment of the apartment building targeted to council housing and in relationship with the rural territory and countryside. The initiative has been promoted - from the former mayor Renato Zangheri – for giving social inclusion opportunities and recreational activities for elderly.

Contact details

Function / Organisation : , Vegetable gardens of Via Salgari - Orti di Via Salgari

E-mail :
north-eastern periphery called “Pilastro”
40127 , Bologna, Italia


Municipality of Bologna, it is the owner of the vegetable gardens managed by Orti di via Salgari Association


The initiative is strictly related to social and environmental objectives:

  • create a close relationship between citizens and nature, citizens and agriculture;
  • facilitate and strengthen social inclusion of different cultures and generations;
  • create a place with favourable condition for recreational activities for elderly;
  • maintain the integrity of land and a proper balance between urbanization dn rural areas;
  • promote the valorisation of rural territory.

Legal framework & Budget

Legal framework: association Members: the Association includes 500 members around, the managing committee is composed by 9 members and it shall be elected every 3 years. Members pay an annual amount to be member and this amount shall be used for water furniture payment and other basic costs. This association has a social budget where highlights the impact f social activities with members, citizens, schools, type of actions, people involved.


Main activities and projects developed: - management of vegetable gardens area; - horticultural therapy; - recreational activities of socialization through social lunches and dinners; - exchanges and integration activities with citizens coming from different countries which live in the area; - socio-educational projects with schools dealing with environmental education, vegetable gardens farming, land products seasonality and food; - workshops dealing with sustainability and environment - involvement in participatory processes managed by the Municipality of Bologna for co-design future services and activities

>Innovation & Outcomes

Type of service innovation: these municipal vegetable gardens are assigned by the Municipality of Bologna, taking the demands of residents to farm a vegetable garden; tenderers are elderly, young people, coming from different countries but they should be resident in the city and they should follow the municipal regulation for vegetable gardens tenderers. An area is dedicated to a specific horticultural therapy with raised flowerbeds and seats where people with reduced mobility can farm with the support of volunteers. The main outcomes are: - 500 members join the “Orti di via Salgari” Association - 420 vegetable gardens managed and the 90% has been assigned to tenderers schools of the Pilastro’s neighbourhood involved in educational activities - 2 annual thematic events (e.g. Aroma Festival in September)

Main obstacles & Next steps

The association needs financial support and access to marketing channel (social networks, website) for promoting events and recreational activities.

More on :

Project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund