Old penitentiary in Via della Lungara

disegno - Reclusorio sulla Lungara

Azzurri, Francesco (1831-1901)

Manicomio di S. Maria della Pietà in Roma. Vecchio reclusorio sulla Via Lungara (A) come trovatasi nel 1862 con le casette (B) di proprietà del Pio Istituto di S. Spirito e con la lavanderia (C) del detto Istituto.
Tav. I Prospetto; Tav. II Pianta. Foglio 236 x 310 mm.

In: Le riforme e miglioramenti eseguiti dal 1862 al 1893 nel Manicomio di S. Maria della Pietà in Roma ora Manicomio provinciale / Francesco Azzurri. – Roma: Stabilimento Tipografico Edoardo Perino, 1893. – 132 p.: 4 c. di tav.; 25x17 cm.

The reorganization of the S. Maria della Pietà Lunatic Asylum on Via della Lungara was undertaken by Azzurri, in the period studied, according to lines that made this not a mere place of confinement but rather, according to the most recent asylum theories, an “asylum village” on the Belgian model of Ghèel. Various wards are identified, called “quarters” by Azzurri, used for the “peaceful”, “dirty”, “agitated” and “furious” inmates, according to the classification adopted by the Rome asylum in 1864.
The ground floor housed the administration offices and services of the asylum. There was great care for the locations where the inmates could undertake work, the growing of vegetables and artisan activities in the areas of Villa Barberini, not just laid out as gardens. From 1869 Villa Gabrielli was also included.
The dormitories of the “peaceful” patients were on the upper floors; the inmates could leave these rooms during the day and go down to the gardens and work areas on the ground floor or in the wards of the villas being made available to them. A whole “quarter” is reserved for the “dirty” inmates. There is greater concern for security conditions in the quarters for the “agitated” and “furious” inmates, where “detention cells” are also provided for violent maniacs. Unlike the “peaceful” inmates, the “agitated” and “furious” inmates could not leave their quarters during the day to do work. In any case, the premises for commitment never give the image of a prison, and the assistance of the most serious cases should never lead to treatments degrading to the person of the inmate.

The nearby Villa Gabrielli and Villa Barberini, after the refurbishing of the respective pavilions and the construction of a surrounding wall, with construction starting in 1873, were able to house first and second class inmates, and were independent from the Via della Lungara complex, and equipped with all the necessary services.

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