The Clinica Spinelli was founded in Belvedere Marittimo (a town in the south of Italy, in Cosenza’s province) in 1895 and it was one of the first hospitals in Calabria. It's located in front of the Aragonesi's Castle in the historic centre of Belvedere Marittimo.
The palace where the clinic is located was originally the palace of the regal curia. This building dates back to the Reinassance (XV-XVI century) and has a rectangular plan with a sandstone portal triumphal arch and two circular towers at the corners.The symbol, placed at the main entrance, is a lion and goes back to 1800 when the Leo Family arrived in Belvedere Marittimo. There was another building in which Tuberculosis TB patients were hospitalized, now disappeared, which is shown in the black and white photo (see below). The owner and founder of the clinic, Oreste Emerico Spinelli, was born on February 21th of the year 1867 and he was a young doctor when he started the new institution. We know from an interview of his grandson, published on a local newspapers, "Il Risorgimento", that "his project was to build a clinic for the cure of lungs' diseases".1. The building could host 100 patients and most of the seats were reserved to the Army. In those years, since most of Calabria's inhabitants worked as farmers, Spinelli's Clinic had an agreement with the "Cassa Mutua Calabrese Infortuni Agricoli".2. In the clinic there were departments of: chest surgery, general surgery, dialysis, obstetrics and radiology. When Emerico Oreste Spinelli died, in 1946, his grandson, the doctor Oreste Spinelli, became the owner, and the clinic had in that period (until 1950), 70 patients per week hospitalized in the chest's disease department3. In the next three years, the clinic increased and could host almost 200 patients. Spinelli's clinic experienced its best period with the contribution of Guido Chidichimo, a famous heart surgeon of the San Camillo's Hospital in Rome4. When Oreste Spinelli died, the clinic went to his family and it worked until 2009 (when the clinic failed and closed) like a modern hospital5.
The main entrance
The Leo Family's symbol
The secondary entrance
Emergency stairs at the back
Tuberculosis patients’ building (men department)
Original documents from the Clinic
- Vincenzo Nocito, Memorie e studi sulla città di Belvedere Marittimo, Tipografia opera S.S. Vergine di Pompei, Genova 1950, pp. 275
- Franco Perre, Il tempo della speranza, ed. Il Peperoncino, Belvedere Marittimo 2014, pp. 200
- Giuseppe Rogati, "Una nuova clinica per malattie polmonari", Risorgimento – il Mattino, 8 February 1950
- Main text and photos by Lorenzo Impieri ti.oohay|ireipmi.oznerol#| and Paola Liporace moc.liamg|22ecaropil.p#| (December 2014)
- Locate the place on this Google Map