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

Padua: Jacopo Marcello, the Captain who shouldn’t have died

ca-marcello
Big Names

Ca’ Marcello in Piombino Dese, Italy is a beautiful eighteenth-century Venetian villa still inhabited today by the Marcello Counts, a...

View

Venice: What’s the traditional Redentore food?

sarde-saor
Local Traditions

The number one traditional celebration, celebrated every year the third weekend of July, Redentore gives thanks for the end of the terr...

View

Venice: The village of Dolo and its inhabitants

Dolo
Figures of speech

In the province of Venice there is a small village, Dolo, which doesn’t have a great reputation... The dialect expression ‘Ma te vi...

View

Venice: The crypt of the church of San Simeone Piccolo

san-simeone-piccolo-venezia
Unknown places & works

As soon as you leave the train station in Venice, you will see the imposing dome of the church of San Simeone Piccolo, renovated in the...

View

Top posts

Padua: Prato della Valle in Padua

prato-della-valle
Historical Curiosities

Probably only the inhabitants of Padua and a few other people know of a particular record their city is boasting about: having the larg...

View

Treviso: Castelbrando in Cison di Valmarino

castelbrando
Unknown places & works

The province of Treviso offers its visitors many places steeped in history and imbued with charm ... One of these is definitely Castelb...

View

Venice: The tomb of Antonio Canova in the Frari Cathedral in Venice

Tomba_Canova
Mysteries & Legends

When visiting the splendid Frari Cathedral in Venice a pyramid can be seen in front of the church… Why is such a ...

View

Venice: The Empress Sissi in Venice

Sissi
Big Names

The Empress Sissi (1837-18989), the wife of Austria Emperor Francesco Giuseppe of Habsburg, has remained in the collective imagination ...

View