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Cammarata -San Giovanni Gemini

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The rediscovered Garden


Project of study and enhancement of a cultural and landscape asset
edited by the IC "Giovanni XXIII" of Cammarata ​

The didactic project "The rediscovered garden" is a multi-year project of the Comprensivo institute  John XXIII  di Cammarata, Municipality in the province of Agrigento. 
​ It was born from the curiosity to know what was behind those high stone walls on the outskirts of the town, from which at times it was possible to glimpse trees full of oranges, figs and mulberries ... It was an abandoned garden of a public body and we asked if it was possible to have it for our School, to carry out workshops and recreational activities: and it was immediately granted to us.  It was therefore legally adopted by our Comprehensive Institute to be "rediscovered" by students, families and scholars  to be gradually revalued and returned to all citizens.
A green area of 1900 square meters, abandoned and ignored for decades by the citizens of Cammarata themselves, is actually the residual garden of a female Benedictine monastery inhabited for three centuries, until the end of 1700. Probably  it is a rare example of a "garden of the simple" that has come down to us.  Our journey back in time tries to reconstruct its history and that of our country, imagining what no longer exists,  not to forget our roots and above all to propose a sustainable future.
Thanks to  team work carried out by children, teachers, families, bodies involved and many enthusiastic friends of the initiative, in October 2020 the  Superintendence BB.CC.AA. of Agrigento  has subjected the garden area and its walls to "preventive protection  under the Code of Cultural Heritage and Landscape "and therefore are now protected by the State.   It is a first fundamental milestone reached by the Project but we have already set others for the next school years, hoping to make "the Annunziata garden" accessible to everyone as soon as possible. 

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The objectives

One of the fundamental objectives of the "IL GIARDINO RITROVATO" project is the


  • According to article 9 of the Italian Constitution, “The Republic promotes the development of culture and scientific and technical research. It protects the landscape and the historical and artistic heritage of the nation ".

  • The MIUR on its website reports:  << The Council of Europe Framework Convention on the value of cultural heritage - "Faro Convention" of 2005,  signed by Italy in 2013 - claims the knowledge and use of heritage as the right of citizens to participate in cultural life and reaffirms the value of cultural heritage both as a useful source for human development, the enhancement of cultural diversity and the promotion of dialogue intercultural, and as a model of economic development based on the principle of sustainable use of resources >>
    The main theme "FUTURE CITIZENS", chosen for the PTOF 2019/2022 of our Comprehensive Institute, appears congruent with the foregoing and with the project since it aims to enhance the role of the school as an engine of ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP, also by raising awareness  the  pupils to their own CULTURAL AND LANDSCAPE HERITAGE with the training objective of educating them to its protection as a COMMON GOOD. 
    Furthermore, the project implicitly pursues the following

  • Organize cooperative learning activities and learning paths in situation;

  • Strengthen orientation paths;

  • Strengthen links and interactions with the territory;

The contacts

Comprehensive Institute "Giovanni XXIII" 
​ Kindergarten, Primary and 1st Grade Secondary School       
Largo dei Pini - 92022 CAMMARATA (AG)

tel./fax  +390922909106       mob. 3891711518 (referring document)          
project mail:
e-mail:  agic82700x@  -



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Strategies adopted

First of all we proposed  from   INVOLVE CITIZENS AND INSTITUTIONS TO RELATE POSITIVE ENERGIES   since it often happens that the specialist skills of Bodies and people operating in the same territory do not interact with each other,  making the context of reference static.
  The rediscovered garden project has partially overcome this  gap: the following were asked and obtained  Patronage of the project:
- from the
  Superintendence BB.CC.AA. of Agrigento 
- from the
  Episcopal Curia of Agrigento
  of the  CIRITA (Interdepartmental Center for Research on Technology - Environment Interaction) of the University of Palermo
  of the ASP 1 of Agrigento  who granted the area to the school 
  of the National Association  ITALY OUR 
  of the  Municipality of Cammarata
  from the  Parish of the Mother Church of Cammarata and they have begun to dialogue to achieve the same goal.
Lastly, the active agreement with
  the IPIA "Archimede" of Cammarata,  in an innovative  peer tutoring  between pupils of different ages, with a project of "Pathways for transversal skills and orientation" (former school-work alternation) to conduct free exams  non-invasive of the soil  which could lead to glimpses of finds in the subsoil such as to stimulate excavation and in-depth investigations by the responsible bodies (which could not be implemented by June 2019 due to health restrictions by Covid, but which we plan to carry out from November 2020).
Some invited local professionals met the students for free during the workshop to share their experiences and skills on the subject.
Another strategy we have set ourselves is that of
  PRODUCE MULTIMEDIA WORKS OF EASY DISTRIBUTION,  because the School must be a vehicle of skills. For this we have decided to  SHARE THROUGH THE INTERNET  the  laboratory results with as wide an audience as possible, to facilitate the dissemination of information and above all the sharing of the project idea  in the community outside the school world.
For this same purpose, other strategies were also planned in the project  that   we could not implement in this 2019/20 school year due to the Covid pandemic,  and I'm:

  • SET UP A FINAL EXHIBITION  to share study results with the entire community, both inside and outside the school.

  • PRODUCE DISCLOSURE BROCHURES  to summarize the results,  make this area known and encourage its re-appropriation by citizens

  • IMPLEMENT A DAY OF STUDIES  in a public space where the students, in the presence of families and authorities, will be able to exhibit the results of the laboratory and then become guides in the area.

  • ENCOURAGE THE USABILITY OF THIS GARDEN  to the pupils of the schools present in the territories of Cammarata and San Giovanni Gemini, to the university students, to the non-profit associations that operate in the area with shared purposes,  to local citizens and tourists, also favoring their use for the realization of cultural events such as exhibitions, musical performances, meetings, outdoor lessons, recreational activities, rehabilitation and inclusion activities.   


  We hope in the next school year to be able to implement them and to report here the results.

Service learning

The project "The rediscovered garden"  marries the aims and the modalities  of the  Service learning:   "The territory becomes a learning environment, the school experience is structured within the community and the acquisition of knowledge, values, skills and attitudes is associated with civic commitment".   Our school becomes  intermediary between a cultural and landscape asset, never valued, and the citizens  di Cammarata who are actually the legitimate holders. ​

phases of the project

During the school year 2019-20 it was possible to carry out these phases of the project:

  • PHASE 1:  WORKSHOP afternoon of n. 3 hours per week with n. 30 volunteer students ​ (November 2019-May 2020)

- Study from a historical and geographical point of view: viewing the archival documents, books and paintings that mention the Annunziata convent and the garden, historical and current cartography; understanding of the relations with the adjacent and pertinent Church of the Annunciation and, consequently,  study of the church and the works of art contained therein.
- Visit to the Lucchesiana Library in Agrigento, directed and implemented by Father De Gregorio (1923-2006), a great scholar of the history of Cammarata and main source of in-depth historical information on our country (carried out on February 17, 2020)
- Visit to the Mother Church of Cammarata, to observe and photograph the 17th century painting by M. Lapis depicting Cammarata and the garden in question.
- Examination of the classroom area through the papers e
  Google Earth, to understand its orientation, its elevation,  its location with respect to the town and the Church of the Annunciation,  compared to the tangent of the Turibolo stream (which almost certainly was  used by nuns  for its irrigation).
- Production of multimedia synthesis products.

  • PHASE 2: ADOPTION OF THE AREA OF  GARDEN OF THE ANNUNZIATA BY OUR INSTITUTE,  through a free loan agreement  for research and study activities with the ASP 1 of Agrigento which owns it (13 February 2020)

  • STEP 3:  CLEANING THE AREA  by ESA (Sicilian Agricultural Development Agency with which our Institute has entered into a special agreement), by the ASP of Agrigento, owner of the land, as regards the special waste present therein, and by the Municipality of Cammarata, already a partner official of the project: after many years of neglect, the area needed to be reclaimed from numerous weeds and even special waste.



The Project laboratory took place from November 2019 to June 2020; until March 2020, the meetings of the working groups took place at the school, every Thursday afternoon.  From March 2020  in June 2020  the meetings  they have become videoconferences, dedicated every day of the week to a different group and job.


The project clearly foresees the acquisition of  TRANSVERSAL SKILLS  to different disciplines trying to implement meaningful learning: History, Geography, History of Art, Italian, English Language, Technology, Science.
Between these:
   Learning to act together for a common goal
   Designing an organic path of finalized work 
   Improve digital skills
   Knowing how to interact in communicative situations with clarity and lexical properties
   Feeling part of the school community and that of Cammarata
   Reflect on your role as a student today and as a citizen tomorrow
The repercussions on specific skills in the aforementioned disciplines are obviously manifold.

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