Le Istituzioni Psichiatriche nel Regno delle Due Sicilie

Francesco Leoni


Before 1510 there wasn't a single hospital in Southern Italy which took in mental patients, with the possible exception of L'ospedale degli Incurabili, which in any case dealth with other kinds of illnesses as well. Finally, in 1813 the decision was taken to found an institution in the city of Aversa with would deal exclusively with mental patients. This institution was put under the control of Giovanni Maria Linguiti. He took care of all patients using his therapeutic methods, with such excellent results that his reputation spread outside the kingdom. In 1816 in Sicily, an attempt was made to repeat the succes of Aversa, but not until 1824 was it decided that L'Ospizio di Santa Teresa  should care for mental patients. Don Pietro Pisani was delegated to coordinate that hospital and, in 1827 he published a number of theories and guidelines concerning mental healthcare similar to those of Linguiti. In December 1864 a Royal Decree forced through parliament a statute which laid down the rules for the reorganization of these hospitals. Finally in August 1874, after numerous financial difficulties and struggles between political bodies and health service management, a Royal Decree was established, and a new guiding statute was passed. 


Key words: Psychiatry - Hospitals - Sicily - XIX Century 

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