Ospedale San Camillo


San Camillo Hospital” is located in Rome (Circonvallazione Gianicolense, 87) and is part of the complex “San Camillo-Forlanini Hospitals”.1

The Entrance



On 28 April 1919 works began in order to build the Hospital which was first called “Ospedale della Vittoria”, by “ Pio Istituto di S.Spirito in Sassia ed Ospedali Riuniti di Roma” Board of Directors. On that day Vittorio Emanuele III King of Italy set the first stone in the presence of the Queen and of the Mayor of Rome Prospero Colonna.2

"Malpighi" Pavilion


Unfortunately, due to lack of funds, works were stopped from 1922 to 1927. Later Cav. Benito Mussolini Head of the Government, accepted the proposal of the President of the hospital Administration, Doctor Adolfo Cotta, about the resumption of works and 42 million lire were allocated so as to finish the hospital. Works restarted on 15 September 1927 and went on for 2 years until the building was completed and called “ Ospedale del Littorio”.3

"Flajani" Pavillion


The Church


The first plan included 34 wide aisles, 15 minor aisles to isolate contagious patients, 7 operating theatres, 42 accomodations for doctors , 500 rooms for different services and offices and a total number of 1000 beds. The complex had also an otolaryngology and ophthalmology departments.
The modern structure is not completely different from the original one, whereas the general organization and services have obviously greatly changed.
Historical events after 1945 led to the rejection of the original name of the Hospital which was later named after “ San Camillo de Lellis” a male nurse saint of the Roman sanitary tradition who was also the founder of the “Ordine dei Chierici Camilliani".4

"Busi" Pavilion


Hospital complex layout



Emanuele Caniggia (1891-1986), Roman architect, between 1928 and 1929, works on his most important work, namely the design and management of the works of the San Camillo Hospital (at the time called Ospedale del Littorio), for 1,200 beds.5

Drawing of aerial view of the hospital complex from Giancarlo Caniggia


The hospital is composed of a set of buildings arranged in pavilions. This typology was used in Rome only in the Hospital Umberto I and covers an area of ​​40 hectares with a large park and secular trees. The main entrance to the Institute opens on “Viale Gianicolense” with three gates, flanked by railings on pillars designed by the same architect.6

Prospective drawing of the entrance gate from Giancarlo Caniggia


Facade of the administrative Pavilion


The first building you can see is the administrative Pavilion, placed in a prominent position and representative of the entire complex. The main hall, recently restored, is the richest for decorations in the whole complex. Here the surfaces are decorated with paintings commemorating the Fascist victory, with two large marble slabs depicting the “Duce”, and brightly colored plasters: decorated frames and ovals marked on the most advanced bodies highlight its hierarchical importance. The rest of the hospital complex consists of several buildings with a similar plan, arranged in the park according to a regular network.7

Prospective drawing of the hospital church from Giancarlo Caniggia



Accompanying the progress of scientific research, taking charge of a demand for health services that has grown over time, the San Camillo is the first hospital in Rome to have a resuscitation unit and the first for cardiac surgery with a coronary unit active in the late 1960s. ; and gradually it has been equipped with medical-scientific resources and the infrastructures necessary to deal with almost the entire range of pathologies.8
In 2002 it was inaugurated a new Technological Ward with 270 beds, the second level of Emergency and Acceptance Department (DEA), 10 operating rooms and Diagnostic Services of high technology.
On January 2015 , there was the first artificial heart transplant of ultimate generation in Italy "San Camillo" hospital : “ HeartMate III”. HeartMate III is the artificial heart of third generation which guarantees a survival of 92% more than any other previous model. The surgery was performed by the team led by Professor Francesco Musumeci, director of Heart Surgery ward of "San Camillo" Hospital.9

  • Photos and main text by Pier Giuseppe Ruggeri moc.duolci|guruigreip#| and Andrea Cassini moc.liamg|9991inissacaerdna#| (December 2017), courtesy of Directorate-General of San Camillo Hospital
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  • Adelaide Regazzoni Caniggia e Gianfranco Caniggia, "L'Ospedale di S. Camillo, un'opera di Emanuele Caniggia", L’ architettura delle trasformazioni urbane 1890-1940, 1991, pp. 289-290
  • Alessandro Tittozzi, "Al San Camillo impiantato il primo cuore artificiale di ultima generazione: allunga la vita a chi é in attesa del trapianto", ilmessaggero.it, Roma, 25 Novembre 2015
  • Nicola Picardi, "L' Ospedale di S. Camillo de Lellis di Roma", Annali Italiani di Chirurgia n°80, 2009, pp. 411-415


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