logo Museo Galileo - Institute and Museum of the History of Science
  • View of the Hospital of Santa Dorotea, Florence.zoom in altra finestra
  • Canto alla Mela, at the crossroads between Via Ghibellina and Via de' Macci in Florence, where the ancient Hospital of Santa Dorotea once stood.zoom in altra finestra

Ex Ospedale di Santa Dorotea [Former Santa Dorotea Hospital]

The Casa Pia di Santa Dorotea dei Pazzarelli was instituted in 1643, at the initiative of the Carmelite Alberto Leoni, for the purpose of sheltering mentally ill patients in poor condition, who had up to then been segregated in the "Stinche" prison. The site selected for accommodating these patients was located in Via Ghibellina, at Canto della Mela, where there had previously been a boarding school for abandoned girls entrusted to the protection of Santa Dorotea. Very soon the problem of overcrowding arose, and it was decided in 1753 to move the patients to the ancient Hospital of San Niccolò del Ceppo, which had been suppressed in 1541. But not even this move proved definitive, until in 1785 Grand Duke Peter Leopold decreed that all mentally ill patients should be transferred to the large Bonifazio Hospital, officially assigned to them in 1788.


Texts by Antonella Gozzoli

English translation by Catherine Frost

Last update 01/feb/2008