The former hospital buildings of the Fathers of San Giovanni di Dio.

Museum of the mental hospital of San Servolo.

Seat of the Venice International University.
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The former hospital buildings of the Fathers of San Giovanni di Dio.


immagine didascalia

Museum of the mental hospital of San Servolo.


immagine didascalia

Seat of the Venice International University.



Island of San Servolo

The first inhabitants on San Servolo were benedettini monks, who settled there in the 8th Century, building a monastery and shelter for people in difficulty.

In 1725 the Venetian Republic handed the island to the Padri Ospedalieri di San Giovanni di Dio, a religious Order that built a hospital for the mentally disabled. To begin with, the Council of Ten declared this mental asylum to be for the exclusive use of “madmen of noble birth or wealthy families”. The poor suffering from mental problems were generally imprisoned or abandoned to their fate.

In 1797 this discriminating decree was suppressed by the Napoleonic laws that made the asylum accessible to all, regardless of their social class.

Today the Province of Venice has completely restored the island after years of abandonment.
San Servolo is now the seat of the European Centre for the Training for the Artisan of the Architectonic Property, set up by the “Pro Venezia Viva” foundation. It also has an important Congress Centre and the Venice International University, an international centre of higher education and research.


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