Article Index

pict.C1 - The
                  Assunta Hall during the visit of the pope Clemente
                  XIII (1759) The Assunta Hall, constituting part of the original nucleus of the hospital, was reorganized and modernized probably starting from 1680, and surely was already completed when, on March 1st 1702, the pope Clemente XI came to visit it for the first time. In the painting in pict.C1, that shows the visit of the pope Clemente XIII in 1759, the Hall looks well lighted and provided with two rows of 25 single tester beds with curtains. Its width permitted, when necessary, to add further 25 movable beds in the intermediate corridor: they, provided with wheels, was commonly called "cariole", roman slang for carriole [wheelbarrows] (from which comes the popular insult still actual in Rome "...e di tuo nonno in cariola" [...and of your grandfather in the wheelbarrow]).pict.C2 - The
                  Assunta Hall in a '30ties photo
The main entrance was from the St. Bartholomew square, through the main door of the present pharmacy; at the opposite end there was an altar dedicated to Our Lady, the Assunta [received into Heaven], from which the hall was named, in order to permit the patients to assist the religious services without moving fron their beds (pict.C2). The painting showing the Assunta, led to heavenpict.C3 - The
                  altar of Assunta Hall in the present arrangement by two angels and framed in a baroque frame with plaster angels, is a work of the beginning of XVIII century. The altar frontal (pict.C3), in polychrome scagliola, dates back to 1681. In the room vault there are represented scenes of the Life of St. John of God frescoed by G.P.Schor.
fig.C4 - The
                      firs visit of pope Clemente XI to the patients on
                      february 1702
On the occasion of the 1702 visit, represented in pict.C4 at the present located in the refectory of the Monastery, the pope Albani (Clemente XI) granted to the Fatebenefratelli the small square at the west side of the Assunta Hall to extend the ward (from the memories of Bro. Tommaso Mongai : "...e concesse al nostro Spedale la Piazzetta che resta dietro lo Spedale, acciò potesse la Religione stendere la fabbrica del medesimo" [...and granted to our Hospital the small Square that is behind the Hospital, so that the Religion can extend the structure of the same]). On this area a further hall was built, so called "new hospital", suitable for about 20 beds, at a level two meter higher than the Assunta Hall and joined to it by means of two semicircular stair flights at the sides of the altar. They are visible in the painting in pict.C5.pict.C5 - The
                    altar of Assunta Hall during the second visit of the
                    pope Clemente XI (1705) The above ward extention can be confirmed comparing the Falda map (pict.B4 - 1676), in which the square is still existing, and the Nolli one (pict.B5 - 1748) in which are clearly recognized two wards connected by means of a double stairs flight. In his honour the papal coat of arms was placed on the still existing arch (pict.C3 and C5) that divided the wards.
The painting in pict.C5, lost in Milan under the bombs in 1943, should represent the second visit of Clemente XI, dated 1705, for the inauguration of the new ward; however recent studies [10] show that in that time the ward was not yet built and therefore the picture is to be considered painted before the completion of the ward, probably as a tribute to the pope's generosity, and this is confirmed by the evident diffrence between the represented arch and the actually built one.
The presence of a pharmacy can be considered contemporary to the settlement of the Fatebenefratelli in the island as its existence is already documented at the end of pict.C5 - The inside
                  of the pharmacy around 1960
1500. In the report of the Apostolic Visit in 1663 it is quoted: "Contigua al portone del convento, dentro una stanza assai capace e rispondente nella strada pubblica, si esercita da un secolare, che ha ivi la comodità di abitarvi, la spetiaria..." [Adjacent to the monastry main door, inside a very spacious room that is communicating with the public road, it is held by a lay, that is allowed to live there, the pharmacy...] and in the 1699 one "...farmacia sta vicino al portone del convento a mano sinistra nell'entrare, dove vi è la porta" [ is near the main door of the monastry at the left while entering, where there is the door]. Therefore the pharmacy was located in the room between the Assunta Hall and the inlet corridor of the monastry, accessible through a door opened in the corridor itself; a secondary inlet from the cloister side was walled up in order to better preserve the seclution. The public access from the road was probably only through a grating, as usual at that time. In pict.C5 is shown the inside of the pharmacy as it was around 1960.pict.C6 - The
                  Assunta Hall rearranged as a Conference Room
The integrity of the Assunta Hall, testified by the Lanciani map still at the beginning of 1900, was broken by the restoration works of the hospital in 1932, when the new pharmacy took place in its terminal part using its main entrance from St.Batholomew square; a second access was opened toward the Fatebenefratelli square.
The first of six frescoes that decorate the ceiling of the Assunta Hall is still visible going up the pharmacy entresol, used as drugs warehouse.
The hall was operating as hospital ward up to 1982 when it was rearranged transforming the west side into the present Congress Hall fit for 250 seats (pict.C6), on whose ceiling are visible two of the original six frescoes, and building offices in the remaining area.