Istituto "Giannina Gaslini"

The Istituto "Giannina Gaslini" in Genoa (Via Gerolamo Gaslini, 5) is a leading pediatric hospital in Europe. It was founded by Italian entrepreneur and philanthropist Gerolamo Gaslini in 1931 and inaugurated in 1938, in loving memory of his daughter Giannina who had died in 1917, at the age of eleven, probably due to a misdiagnosed appendicitis.

"Gaslini wanted to ensure that children receive only the best possible type of treatment based on the most innovative research. (…) The complex consists of 20 annexes spread over an area of 73,000 m2 (two-thirds of which are green areas) that are well-connected to each other, even on an underground level. All its wards face a South South-Easterly direction, and were the inspiration for the motto 'Pueris floribusque lumen solis' ('Give sunlight to children and to flowers'). Ever since its founding, Gerolamo Gaslini wanted to host part of the University of Genoa within the walls of the institute, with its own paediatrics chairs in order to ensure the qualified support offered by research and by the training of new generations of paediatricians, nurses and technicians. A few years later, he is known to have said: 'I am not a man of science, but I am fully aware of the fact that it is only by starting from properly directed scientific research that doctors who take care of children can carry out their difficult job in full awareness and with a proper sense of integrity'. And to better understand how much importance the Founder gave to development and innovation, one only needs to go back to 1949, the year in which he gave up all his possessions (companies, factories, immovable property, shares, securities and even his own house) in order to merge them into the Gaslini Foundation, which he himself established and chaired. Moreover, Gaslini stated that the resources of his assets were to be unceasingly dedicated to the betterment of the Institutes's research, treatment and training activities"1.

The Istituto Gaslini hosted and trained many great physicians and researchers who have contributed to the birth and development of many pediatric specialties and subspecialties. Among them: Giovanni De Toni, Franco Soave, Carlo Pais, Paolo Tolentino, Silvano Mastragostino, Rosanna Gusmano and Luisa Massimo.


The entrance to the Institute


Some of the old pavilions among the trees of the Institute's park


The church where Giannina Gaslini and her parents are buried


The brand new Ospedale di Giorno (Day Hospital)


The recently restored Aula Magna (Great Hall)


The memorial to Cardinal of Genoa, Giuseppe Siri, longtime supporter of the Institute


A suggestive panoramic view of the Institute and its surroundings

  • Photos by Luca Tedeschi and Raffaella Camusso, courtesy of the Istituto "Giannina Galsini" (May 2015)

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