Villa Maria Sanatorium (disappeared)


The Villa Maria Sanatorium was inaugurated the 8th of June 1933 at Mercato San Severino (Corso Umberto I) by the Prefect Dr. Domenico Soprano and by the Archbishop of Salerno Nicola Monterisi.1
In 1930 the two noble spouses Emanuele Imperiali (b. Mercato San Severino, Italy, 1 November 1896; d. Italy, 11 July 1981) and Maria Adelaide Imperiali-Cursi (b. Mercato San Severino, 29 August 1907; d. Mercato San Severino, 22 March 1987) donated their own villa, located in Curteri fraction of Mercato San Severino, to the State in order to use it as a Sanatorium.2


Frontal images of the Sanatorium3


On the 20th of March 1950 the villa passed from the Imperiali family of Francavilla to the direction of Dr. Carlo di Lorenzo. The two doctors Errico Messina and Carlo Di Lorenzo decided to contribute to the campaign against tuberculosis in the province of Salerno. They opened an institution which could house, isolate and cure those tuberculous patients who didn't want or weren't able to move away from their families and their home region.
The Sanatorium was composed of the noble palace and four other buildings along with a park of about 60000 square metres.4


When the institute was opened it could house 50 patients but under the supervision of Dr. Carlo Di Lorenzo the number of beds reached 600.

The hospital was made up of the Orthopedics department, the Maternity ward and the Lung Surgery department with famous medical consultants including professor Vincenzo Monaldi, professor Vittorio De Bonis, whom were phthisiologists, and the surgeon Ettore Ruggieri5.


Advertising of the time that shows all the hospital departments of the Sanatorium.6

The project of the villa was intended to remove the monotonous character of a place of pain, favouring the comforting sensation of being in a familiar and welcoming environment.
The rooms in the villa could contain one, two or multiple beds. There was also an elegant hall where the patients could discuss, as well as a reading room. In addition, the villa was equipped with heating, radiators and rooms for personal hygiene.
Furthermore, there was a cabinet for radiology and one for chemical and microscopic analysis. The villa was basically transformed into a hospital which provided every diagnostic and curative means.7

Male division and female division.8






The Church.11

Part of the villa was destroyed because of the bombings that hit Campania in 1943.
In 1969 the Villa Maria Institute, until then owned by Di Lorenzo, was acquired by the hospital corporation "San Giovanni di Dio e Ruggi di Aragona" of Salerno, by will of the President Raffaele de Felice. This corporation had five hospitals, four of which in Salerno.
The new hospital offered basic diagnostic services (radiology, a lab for analysis, for anesthesia and for rianimation) and it had wards for all basic medical needs (general medicine, general surgery and gynaecology) as well as for more complex needs (cardiology, communicable diseases, urology and hemodialysis).12


With the Law 883 of 1978 the Hospital of Curteri became autonomous. The villa was then demolished following the earthquakes of 1980 because it was unusable.
Nowadays in the place where the Sanatorium of Villa Maria stood there is a famous hospital named "Gaetano Fucito Hospital".
The Hospital, strategically situated, is an important medical centre for surgical , pediatric, obstetrical, gynaecological and nephrological units.
Data about the functioning of the structure, according to quality indicators, show that wards of digestive endoscopy, dietology and allergology are particularly efficient.13


Hospital entrance today


A map of the Hospital today.

Wards of the building:

  • Internal Medicine
  • General Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Cardiology
  • Urology
  • Pediatrics
  • Radiology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Orthopedics
  • Endoscopy

These vintage photos about Villa Maria Sanatorium have been provided by Dr. Generoso Conforti, Medical Director at Gaetano Fucito Hospital from 1994 to 2018.

  • Photos and main text by Mariagrazia Pezone ti.orebil|enozep-aizargairam#| and Camilla Torre ti.oiligriv|errot.allimac#| (December 2018), courtesy of Dr. Generoso Conforti.


  • Anonymous, "La deliziosa, suggestiva Villa Maria", Idea Fascista, a.XII, n.29, 3 June 1933, p.4.
  • Anonymous, "La solenne inaugurazione di Villa Maria", Idea Fascista, a.XII, n.30, 10 June 1933, p.4.
  • Anonymous, "Il Capoluogo e la Provincia nel loro continuo divenire", Ecco Salerno, February 1958.
  • Berardo Candida Gonzaga, Memorie delle Famiglie Nobili delle Province Meridionali d'Italia, Arnaldo Forni Editore, Bologna 1875, p. 102.
  • Generoso Conforti - Romano Meloro - Irene Zollo - Candido Gallo, "Curteri: tradizione e innovazioni", Sane Relazioni, April 1999, pp. 4-10.

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