Wednesday, July 29, 2015



Maybe 1339 with the legacy of Cardinal Pietro Colonna, as written on a plaque in the courtyard

It was also known as Ospedale S. Giacomo degli Incurabili (St. James' Hospital of the Incurables) with disarming lack of confidence in the health service of the time or Ospedale S. Giacomo in Augusta (St. James in Augusta Hospital) for its proximity to the Mausoleum of Augustus, which had been transformed into a fortress of the Colonna family

It was granted in 1515 by Leo X Medici (1513/21) to terminally ill patients with the exception of those with leprosy and plague

Most of the patients were syphilitic

Rebuilt 1519/49 by Giorgio da Coltre from a project by Antonio Cordini aka Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (1483/1546)

Of this ancient building remain the FAÇADE on Via Ripetta and a marble relief on a landing of the staircase with “Madonna” by Andrea Bregno (1418/1503)

Modified about 1584 by Francesco Capriani aka Francesco da Volterra (1535/94) who also designed the church of S. Giacomo in Augusta

Rebuilt again 1842/44 by Pietro Camporese the Younger (1792/1873)

In 1929 it was converted into a hospital emergency room and in 1950 the general hospital activity began again

In the years 2004/08 there was a very expensive complete renovation with purchase of modern medical technology, only to decide to close permanently the hospital in the same year 2008: a waste of public money for an impressively disgusting speculation by Italian corrupt politicians

A marble plaque near Via del Corso 494 recalls how this hospital has received continuously running water since 1572, coming from the Aqua Virgo roman aqueduct: it is definitely the oldest single user to have received water continuously in Rome, probably in the world

Monday, July 27, 2015



1927/29 Emanuele Caniggia (1891/1986)

Formerly Ospedale del Littorio (Hospital of Fascism), under fascism, Ospedale Ernesto Nathan (Hospital Ernesto Nathan, mayor of Rome), at the end of World War II and finally, in 1945, S. Camillo De Lellis Hospital in memory of S. Camillo De Lellis (1550/1614)

He is the patron of the Military Health and founder of the religious order dedicated to assistance to the sick

The body of S. Camillo De Lellis is buried in the church of S. Mary Magdalene

It was the first hospital in Rome to have a resuscitation in 1962

The hospital comprises two sub-hospitals: S. CAMILLO where almost all diseases are treated and FORLANINI engaged primarily in pulmonary, respiratory diseases

The complex covers an area of some 40 hectares (99 acres) in a large park with old trees
Until 1996, also the LAZZARO SPALLANZANI was part of the hospital, specializing in infectious diseases, but it was later sub-divided and became the autonomous INSTITUTE OF HOSPITAL CARE OF SCIENTIFIC NATURE (IRCCS)

Sunday, July 26, 2015



1962/64 Gaetano Minnucci (1896/1980) in collaboration with Guido Cigni

2004. Multipurpose complex with surgery of the Clinic of Infectious Diseases and Center for Diseases of Aging

The two buildings are connected by an indoor pedestrian overpass, designed by Giuseppe Manara (1945)

It is the hospital where the pope is usually treated and it covers an area of 37 hectares (91.4 acres), almost as large as the entire Vatican City

It is connected with the UNIVERSITÀ CATTOLICA DEL SACRO CUORE (Sacred Heart Catholic University) founded by the Milanese Franciscan psychologist Agostino Gemelli (1879/1959)

Monday, July 13, 2015



1582/84 founded by the Congregazione di S. Giovanni di Dio (Congregation of St. John of God)
Its members used to say “You do well brothers!” when begging

The congregation was founded by the Portuguese Juan Ciudad (1495/1550) who became a saint by the name of John of God

After a dissolute and wandering existence, he was converted and founded the Order of Brothers Hospitallers. He dedicated his life to the care of the sick with a modern vision of hospital care and hospitality

Patients were accepted on the basis of disease and every one of them was treated and assisted with an individual attention absolutely new for that time

St. John of God is therefore regarded as the inventor of the modern idea of a hospital

Beginning of 1700 expanded by Romano Carapecchia (1668/1738)

1867 rebuilt by Francesco Azzurri (1831/1901)

1930/34 completely renovated by Cesare Bazzani (1873/1939)

It occupies more than half of the Tiber Island continuing the functions of the place, formerly sacred to the god of medicine Aesculapius

In the eleventh century it was occupied by a shelter-shrine for sick dedicated to St. Bartholomew and managed by a community of Benedictine Sisters

Saturday, July 11, 2015



1724/29 Filippo Raguzzini (1680/1771) for Benedict XIII Orsini (1724/30) for patients suffering from skin diseases

The hospital was one of the best in Europe in those days and in the first half of 1900s it had an important role in the fight against syphilis


The FAÇADE is 160 m (525 feet) long and 9 m (29.5 feet) high

“A model of urban design and, for those times, a rare example of rational hospital architecture” (Giulio Carlo Argan)

St. Gallicanus was consul under Constantine and, after moving to Ostia, he devoted himself to the care of the sick. He suffered martyrdom under Julian the Apostate (361/363)


One for male and one for female, separated by the church


1754 Costantino Fiaschetti for Benedict XIV Lambertini (1740/58)


1826 for Leo XII Sermattei (1823/29). Two semicircles with a dome

Stucco frieze “Legend of the serpent of Aesculapius and the Tiber Island and portraits of famous doctors” by Ignazio Sarti (1791/1854)



It was consecrated in 1726

It has inner side windows to allow the sick to attend Mass

Altarpiece “St. Gallicanus recommends three sick people to the Virgin Mary” and two lunettes by the great Roman painter Marco Benefial (1684/1764)

“After 1723 he had another difficult period, during which the painter bent again to enter into an agreement of “partnership”, with Filippo Evangelisti, a mediocre pupil of Benedetto Luti, under whose name went many paintings which were completely by Benefial instead, for example, St. Gallicanus and the Sick in the church of St. Gallicanus in Rome, clearly inspired by Correggio and the Carraccis” (Evelina Borea - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)

Thursday, July 9, 2015



Transferred here in the years 1879/87 from Via delle Zoccolette where it had been founded ten years before by the Duchess Arabella Fits-James, wife of Marquis Salviati, to assist poor sick children

Now the Hospital of the Infant Jesus has three other locations: Santa Marinella, Palidoro and another newly built by the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls

It was completely restored in the years 1926/30 and expanded in 1960
Now it has 600 beds and is the largest pediatric hospital in central and southern Italy

Monday, July 6, 2015



Built for Alexander VI Borgia (1492/1503), and later rebuilt for Pius IV Medici (1559/65) who employed in it a guardian who was a guide as well

S. Pius V Ghislieri (1566/72) enlarged the garden and entrusted it to the botanic expert Michele Mercati

After a period of neglect Alexander VII Chigi (1655/67) transformed it into one of the major botanical gardens in Europe, using for it the Acqua Paola aqueduct which Paul V Borghese (1605/21) had built from Bracciano to the Janiculum Hill, restoring the ancient Aqueduct of Trajan

In 1820 the Botanical Garden was moved in the garden of Palazzo Salviati in Via della Lungara and in 1873 in the garden of the former convent of S. Lorenzo in Via Panisperna to gather all the scientific institutes in the area of the Interior Ministry on Viminal Hill

In 1883 had its final home here in the garden of Palazzo Corsini when the property was transferred to the Italian State

It is one of the Museums of the Department of Environmental Biology of the University of Rome La Sapienza

Extension of 12 hectares (about 30 acres)

It houses over 3,500 plant species divided into sections:

Palm trees, Bamboo thickets, Valley of ferns, Orangery room, Roses, Japanese Garden, Aquatic Plants, Garden of the simple for medicinal plants and Garden of the aromas


Exhibition Greenhouse for temporary exhibitions

Tropical Greenhouse with constant humidity of 80%

Corsini Greenhouse built at the end of the nineteenth century for succulents plants with two pools of black marble probably ancient in which it seems that Queen Christina of Sweden bathed

At the top of the hill the original tree structure has been kept, left as the Mediterranean evergreen forest known as Bosco Romano

From the clearings among the secular examples of oaks and sycamores (about 350/400 years old) one can enjoy fantastic views of the city

Below, in the direction of the palace, collection of conifers and near the gate of the palace reconstruction of a small California desert

In this lower area there are an Australian araucaria, an American redwood some Florida taxodium distichum and an oriental sycamore of the fifteenth century

The staircase by Ferdinando Fuga (1699/1782), the FOUNTAIN OF THE MERMEN and the big niche up against the top of the hill are the only preserved eighteenth-century decorations of the garden

Friday, July 3, 2015



About twelfth century. Formerly known as S. Salvatore de Ossibus (St. Saviour of the Bones) with reference to the bones of the nearby cemetery of pilgrims or as S. Salvatore in Terrione with reference to the nearby Turrionis Gate of the Leonine Wall, later known as Porta Cavalleggeri (Cavalry Gate) and then demolished with a section of the walls in 1904

It is now also known as S. PIETRO AL BORGO (St. Peter in the Borgo District)

To the oratory it was annexed the Schola Francorum, the hostel for French pilgrims coming to Rome

It was restored under Nicholas V Parentucelli (1447/55)

It was reopened in 1923

It is part of the State of Vatican City and it is not open to the public

Frescoes and painting on wood of the fifteenth century “Virgin Mary and Child with Saints” signed by an unidentified Maestro Francesco

On March 1, 1944, a plane most likely affiliated to the Fascist Republic of Salò was going to bomb the Vatican Radio which used to broadcast news to the Anglo-American military

The plane lost control, dropped bombs near Porta Cavalleggeri and fell in Via del Gelsomino, killing the pilot and an elderly woman

It came as a surprise that the glass that protected the image of the Virgin Mary of the Oratory of S. Peter remained intact although many chips had hit the wall around, and almost all the windows of the Palazzo del S. Uffizio had been shattered

It was believed to be a miracle and in 1950 an artistically sculpted “Frame with angels equipped with shields” by the artist Silvio Silva (1890/1955) was built around the ancient shrine image