King Umberto I memorial monument

This monument to the memory of King Umberto I of Italy can be seen on the facade of Palazzo d'Accursio, seat of the Municipality of Bologna (Piazza Maggiore). The monument, whose bronze statues were sculpted by Giuseppe Romagnoli, was erected in 1909 to celebrate the connection of the town with the King who had been assassinated in July 1900. The monument had been dismantled and partially destroyed in 1943 and has been recently restored and replaced in its original location1.


The Italian inscription contains two interesting references to the history of medicine and healthcare in Bologna.

The first mention a financial allocation decided by the Municipality in 1893, for the building of a hospital for poor children, which was doubled on November 26, 1900, to honor the memory of the "good King": "PERCHÈ PUR DAL SANGUE / ATROCEMENTE SPARSO / DI UMBERTO I / GERMOGLIASSE OPERA DI CARITÀ, / IL CONSIGLIO DEL COMUNE / NELL'ADUNANZA DEL XXVI NOVEMBRE MCM, / DETESTANDO L'INESPLICABILE DELITTO, / VOLLE NEL NOME DEL RE PIETOSO AI MISERI / DUPLICATA LA SOMMA / CHE PER UNO SPEDALE DE' FANCIULLI POVERI / AVEA DELIBERATA NELLE NOZZE D'ARGENTO REGALI”.

That children hospital is the Ospedale Gozzadini which was eventually built between 1904 and 19142.

The second reference contained in the monument's inscription is to the Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli that was inaugurated in 1896 at the presence of King Umberto I and his wife, Margherita: “BOLOGNA ACCOLSE / LE MAESTÀ D'UMBERTO E DI MARGHERITA / NELL'INIZIO DEL LORO REGNO / E QUANDO FECERO PIÙ SOLENNE COLLA PRESENZA / (…) L'INAUGURAZIONE NEL MDCCCXCVI / DELL'ISTITUTO FRANCESCO RIZZOLI”.

  • Photos by Luca Borghi ti.supmacinu|ihgrob.l#| (August 2019)

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