First Italian public school for deaf-mutes

This plaque, located in Rome (Via dei Barbieri 6), reminds that in this house Pasquale Di Pietro and Tommaso Silvestri founded the first Italian public school for deaf-mutes. The plaque was located by “the deaf-mutes of Italy” in 1934 in order to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the school’s foundation.
When Tommaso Silvestri moved to Rome, he met Pasquale Di Pietro, lawyer and dean of the university of Rome “La Sapienza”, who decided to finance Silvestri’s journey to Paris, at De L’Epee’s school. Once he was back in Italy, in 1783 the first Italian school for deaf-mutes was opened in Pasquale Di Pietro’s house. Silvestri experimented with the oral method which consists in the learning of speaking through the movements of the mouth. In 1842 the Institute was handed over the Papal States, then, in 1870, over the State of Italy with the name of Regio Istituto dei Sordomuti and finally, in 1889, it was relocated in Via Nomentana 56, where it is nowadays.

  • Photo and main text by Chiara Innocenzi moc.liamg|izneconni.rhc#| and Licia Maria Celani moc.liamg|inalecmaicil#| (November 2016)


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