Old "Villaggio manicomiale di San Niccolò"

The old "Villaggio manicomiale di San Niccolò" in Siena has been the main psychiatric institution of the town from the beginning of 19th century1 until 19992. Initially hosted in the medieval franciscan monastery of San Niccolò, the institution - managed by the charity "Società di Esecutori di Pie Disposizioni" - underwent many structural changes and building extensions. Eventually, in the second half of the 19th century, there was the demolition of the old convent and the construction of the new central building, along with the acquisition of the adjoining convent of the Servite Order as a section for insane women and the construction of a real village made of separate pavilions, some of them with artisan workshops as a tool for occupational therapy3, especially on the initiative of psychiatrists Carlo Livi, who was Director of the hospital from 1858 to 1873, and Paolo Funaioli, Director from 1880 to 1907. The village pavilions and streets are named after prominent Italian and foreign psychiatrists.

The entrance and the old pharmacy

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The central building

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The "Quartiere Funaioli" (women section)

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The psychiatric village with residential pavilions and workshops

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Some signs with the names of prominent psychiatrists

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  • Photos by Luca Borghi ti.supmacinu|ihgrob.l#| (July 2012), courtesy of Francesca Vannozzi and Davide Orsini

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Bibliography

-Giovanni Santi (fotografie di), Tornare a vivere. Immagini della chiusura dell'ex Ospedale Psichiatrico S.Niccolò di Siena, Petruzzi, Città di castello 2000, pp. 147
- Francesca Vannozzi (a cura di), San Niccolò di Siena. Storia di un viallaggio manicomiale, Mazzotta, Milano 2007, pp. 254



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