Insane Asylum Museum of San Servolo – Venice
Documents and objects of the mental institution that was hosted in the island. Anatomical room. 18th century Apothecary
The “Insane Asylum Museum of San Servolo – Madness Locked Away“ collects the finds belonging to the psychiatric hospital, an institution that characterized San Servolo island’s history from the beginning of 1700 until 1978 and it highlights the isolating and segregating dimension of the mental institution through documents, objects, captions and explicatory panels. A place where you can read, know and discover the relationship that united, even if by pain, the community of this part of its territory.
In the exhibition there is also the anatomical room which contains a collection of 11 skulls and 12 brains, all of them are patological and conserved using the plastination method by professor Raffele De Caro at the Anatomical and Human Physiology Department of the University of Padua.
The realization of the Insane Asylum Museum has been taken care by the professors Diego Fontanari and Mario Galzigna for the scientific and historical part, while the exposition part by the architect Barbara Accordi.
The itinerary of the museum also includes the 18th century Apothecary which represents a rare proof of the hospital’s spices with the original walnut shelves and it displays an extraordinary collection of more than 200 parmaceutical vases of different shapes and sizes, most of them have a cover and are characterized by the effigy of San Marco Lion, donated by Venice Republic as a sign of esteem for the excellent job done by the monks expert in spices of the island.
San Servolo island, just a few minutes by steamboat from Piazza San Marco, is freely accessible and can be visited all year long, is a unique place: old convent, an ex-mental institution of the city and today a modern congress and cultural centre. with a coffee bar and catering service, surrounded by a luxuriant park.
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The historical archive of the ex-psychiatric hospital is open for visit and consultation
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How to reach San Servolo Island
By boat line 20 Actv from San Zaccaria
Photo source: servizi metropolitani di Venezia website
Go to the website Insane Asylum Museum of San Servolo – Venice