San Gallicano Hospital


The dermatological institute of San Gallicano in Rome (Via di San Gallicano) was founded on the 14th March 1725, during a ceremony held by Pope Benedict XIII; the architect that designed the building was Filippo Raguzzini.
The institute will become one of the first centers specialized in skin diseases in Italy. One of the most important figures in the growth of the hospital was Elio Lami, appointed by Pope Benedict XIII to create a place where the poor and faithful had the opportunity to be assisted and treated against diseases like leprosy, ring worms and scabies.
Pope Leo XII ordered, in 1826, the creation of an Anatomical Theatre for the Medical School of the institute, opened inside the Hospital in 1786; the Anatomical Theatre was so well made that the medicine students from every Medical School of the region had to attend there some of their anatomy classes.
In the early years of the XX century the structure became a specialized center in sexually transmitted infections, maintaining its original purpose of taking care of the people more in need of care and medical treatments, a mission that even nowadays is held up by the INMP (National Institute for Health Migration and Poverty) which has taken up residence in the structure of San Gallicano in 2007.12


Ancient representation of the Institute


From an architectural point of view the structure develops principally longitudinally, with, at the center, the church that works as a fulcrum for the two twin lanes that are about nine meters high.
The facade of the hospital is low and very long, about 170 meters, and the architectonic decorations give a singular and peculiar perspective effect.
The institute has seen two major interventions to his structure: the first in 1754 by Pope Benedict XIV that commissioned the construction of a space in his honor, a space built to divide the adult's hospital lane from the children's lane; the second one occurred in 1826 with the construction of the Anatomical Theatre, commissioned by Pope Leo XII.3


A plan of the Hospital


Facade of the Hospital (1)


Facade of the Hospital (2)


The modernity of the institute consisted in the connection to a network of clear water that linked the "Acqua Paola" water source and the Hospital, giving the access to clear water to the patients.4


Plaque outside of the old water silos


The Hospital nowadays is managed by a national organization named "INMP" (National Institute for Health Migration and Poverty) that focuses on trying to give help and medical care to those who can't afford to pay for dermatological, infectious, gynecological, metabolic and mental disorders treatments by themselves.
Inside the new Hospital is practiced a new type of medicine, with an holistic and transcultural method, giving aid to the new forms of poverty and emargination; meanwhile in the offices of the Institute takes part a work of formation and research dedicated to social medicine and anthropology.5


Courtyard of the renovated Hospital (1)


Courtyard of the renovated Hospital (2)

  • Photos and main text by Alessandro Appolloni moc.liamg|16inolloppaxela#| and Pierpaolo Moro moc.liamg|51orompp#| (January 2019), courtesy of INMP.
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  • IFO, "I natali degli istituti fisioterapici ospitalieri", 2006
  • INMP, "Equità, salute, sviluppo, l'INMP tra passato e presente, per il futuro", 2016

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