Hospital and Church of San Giovanni Battista dei Genovesi

The Church of San Giovanni Battista dei Genovesi is in Rome (Via Anicia 12), near the Tiber Island, in the district of Trastevere. It was founded, between 1481 and 1492, by a Genoese named Meliaduce Cicala, treasurer of the Apostolic Chamber.

The hospital wab built for the Genoese sailors, who landed at Ripa Grande’s port. In 1533 the Confraternity of San Giovanni Battista dei Genovesi was established, which administered the church and the hospital, which continued to operate until the mid-eighteenth century.

Inside the church on the left there is the chapel of Santa Caterina Fieschi Adorno, the saint who worked in the hospital during the plague that struck Rome from 1494 to 1501; on the right there is the Meliaduce Cicala's tomb.

There are news about the hospital activities since 1543: thanks to the examination of many records we have information about the treatment of patients, staff assigned, care and treatment that were practiced in the hospital.
At the time of admission the patients gave their personal data and their belongings; then the personal of the hispotal gave to them a room and, usually, a blue uniform. The rooms were not fixed, but could be changed to bring together patients of the same gravity and to allow the sailors of the same crew.

From the register of accounts we can obtain the food processing, drugs administered and the therapies. Sick people ate grain, meat, barley, rice, almonds and raisins. The most common treatments was bloodletting that was identified for the purchase of many leeches. In the hospital there was one doctor, two administrators, one surgeon, one apothecary and one boy.

  • Photos by Gianluca Marconi [ti.liamtoh|inocram.aculnaig#ti.liamtoh|inocram.aculnaig ] (January 2011)


  • C. Kouma, D. Paganelli, San Giovanni Battista dei Genovesi, Fratelli Palombi Editore, Roma, 1986, pg 49-54, pg 74-76
  • M.Mombelli Castracane, La Confraternita di S.Giovanni Battista de' Genovesi in Roma. Inventario dell'archivio, Olschki, Firenze 1971

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