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Former Psychiatric Hospital San Benedetto

San Benedetto

San Benedetto, a former psychiatric hospital, is a large building with an extensive natural area around it, including the Barchetta or park, restored around 1530 by the architect Girolamo Genga for Francesco Maria I Della Rovere. The original building was constructed adjacent to the convent next to the church of the Madonna del Carmine (Our Lady of Mount Carmel) both of which were built in 1632.

In 1824 a Papal legate of the Province, Cardinal Benedetto Cappelletti (from whom the structure took its name), chose the convent for conversion to a hospital for the insane: ‘Ospedale dei pazzi’; the conversion work was first directed by Angelo Pistocchi, followed by Pompeo Mancini. The hospital was inaugurated in 1829.
Further work was done throughout the nineteenth century to accommodate the growing number of patients. The extension by Mancini, dated 1834, included moving the entrance to the side towards Porta di Rimini and making of one door two, thus separating the men’s entrance from the women’s. The fame of the hospital grew meanwhile to become one of the most well known in Italy.

The present Neoclassical style is due to Giuseppe Cappellini, who enlarged the premises in 1858 and restored the main entrance to its position on the Corso, adding a monumental portico with five loggias. Only in 1891 was Cappellini’s project finalised, thus concluding the architectural development of San Benedetto. In 1871 Cesare Lombroso, a distinguished anthropologist and criminologist, was made director, thereby bringing prestige to the whole town. The hospital was closed as a result of the ‘legge Basaglia’, the 1981 law abolishing such psychiatric hospitals.


Text based on: Giovanna Patrignani, Pesaro. La Radio storia della Città, Pesaro, Metauro Edizioni, 2008, pp. 72-73



corso XI settembre
ownership Asur (Azienda Sanitaria Unica Regionale)
closed to the public