Hidden treasures

Hospital For The Incurable In Venice Zattere Pavement

Unknown places & works
incurabili_venezia_zattere

Hospital For The Incurable In Venice Zattere Pavement

Along the wonderful Zattere pavement in Dorsoduro there is a building with interesting forms: the Hospital for the Incurable.

It was founded in 1517 by San Gaetano of Thiene to give hospitality to men and women suffering from what was then called the French disease: syphilis. At that time there was no adequate therapeutic means to combat this terrible venereal disease, so in fact, the building welcomed the incurable.

In 1560 a church was built in the middle of the present courtyard, which was in this way fragmented into four small triangular courtyards. The current four wellheads located on the sides represent evidence of the original allocation of space. In 1572 the building was rebuilt by Antonio Da Ponte on a design by Antonio Zertani and Jacopo Sansovino. The portal was also designed by Da Ponte, and was originally intended for one of the rooms of the Doge's Palace. In 1527 the noble Girolamo Miani became head of the hospital. He also added to the hospital a shelter for abandoned children; girls who had musical talent could become singers and their concerts were organized every Saturday in the church, which had an oval shape precisely for acoustic reasons.

Following the Napoleonic edicts of 1806 the hospital for the Incurable was closed. In 1819 it was adapted to artillery barracks and to increase the interior space, the church that stood in the centre of the courtyard was completely destroyed. During the 1900s it became the citizen Reformatory, but it was later closed and unused for a long period.

Today the building, after careful restoration, houses the Academy of Fine Arts.

If you want to know more curious places in Venice, our skilled guides will be happy to show you a lesser-known Venice ... away from the usual tourist routes there is a whole city to discover! Book now one of our private tours and dive into the magic of this extraordinary and timeless city!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The Wheel of the Innocents in the Monastery of the Pietà in Venice

ruota-innocenti
Unknown places & works

The majestic neo-classical church of the Pietà stands next to St. Mark's Square in Venice, along Riva degli Schiavoni. Here, concerts ...

View

Padua: Villa Grimani Valmarana Calergi in Noventa Padovana

villa-grimani-calergi-valmarana
Unknown places & works

Veneto is undoubtedly the region of Villas, magnificent resorts and ancient places of idleness for Venetian nobles. Yet their origins a...

View

Venice: The Secret Garden of Ca 'Morosini del Giardin in Cannaregio

ca-morosini-del-giardin
Unknown places & works

Venice is a magical city for many reasons, amongst them are its many hidden gardens that few are aware of! One of the most secret and f...

View

Padua: The collections of the Convent of St. John in Verdara in Padua

eremitani-padova
Unknown places & works

The most beautiful museum in Padua is undoubtedly the Eremitani museum, created in 1895 to house the city's collections. The original s...

View

Top posts

Venice: The graffiti of the ancient merchants on Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice

Fondaco_dei_Tedeschi
Historical Curiosities

Each building located along the Grand Canal has an amusing story or a mystery to tell... After having been the Post Office building for...

View

Padua: The Museum of the History of Medicine in Padua

Museo-di-storia-della-Medicina
Unknown places & works

If you are tired of the usual museums filled with paintings and sculptures, you might find the Museum of the History of Medicine in Pad...

View

Venice: The door of the Tolentini Convent in Venice designed by Carlo Scarpa

iuav-tolentini
Big Names

Near Piazzale Roma is the impressive Tolentini church, built by Vincenzo Scamozzi in the 16th century and finished with an elegant Gree...

View

Venice: The ghost of the Chinese wife of Marco Polo

corte-milion-venezia
Mysteries & Legends

Legend has it that, during his stay in China, the famous Venetian merchant Marco Polo was in love with one of the daughters of the Grea...

View