Tiber Island

The Isola Tiberina (or Tiber Island) is a boat-shaped ait in a bend of the Tiber river in Rome and is connected with illness, healing and medicine from time immemorial. In fact, it is also knowed as the Isle of Health. The presence on this island of a temple to the god of Medicine Asclepius is well documented from the 4th-3rd Century before Christ1. Nowadays, some remains of the temple have been integrated in the church of San Bartolomeo all'Isola's Basilica, on the eastern part of the ait, while on the western section the 16th-century hospital of Ospedale San Giovanni Calibita - Fatebenefratelli, founded by St John of God perpetuates the medical vocation of the island.

An interesting reminiscence of the local worship of Asclepius is the - Caduceus - the rod with a snake coiled around it - still extant in one of the marble walls surrounding the isle.

  • Photos by Luca Borghi ti.supmacinu|ihgrob.l#| (April - November 2009)

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