Museum Area

The Museo Laboratorio della Mente which opened in 2000, follows the history of the Santa Maria della Pietà hospital complex in Rome from its founding as a hospital for poor foreigners and the insane, until its closing as a mental hospital 500 years later. The hospital’s history is a journey through the history of mental institutions, a story of hardship and diversity, of the fight against the stigma of mental illness and for the promotion of mental health.
The layout of the museum is based on an “historical map” – which also makes use of oral sources and materials from the Cencelli Library and the historical archive of Santa Maria della Pietà – of institutional and anti-institutional practices, like a continuous, two-fold dialectical process that on the one hand deconstructs the geography of spatial, physical, psychological and social constructions, and on the other reconstructs the individual subjectivity. The importance of the Museo Laboratorio della Mente in the Lazio Region Museum Organization, nationally, and particularly among public spaces dedicated to the history and cure of mental distress; and the significance of the library and its determination to set up its impressive archive with the support of national (Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities ) and local (Lazio Region, Local Health Authority Roma 1) agencies that recognize the exemplary value of its original mission, public (especially young people) involvement, dialogue and collaboration with schools, and positive results from initiatives in its first years of activity are the fundamental reasons for the groundbreaking value that will result from integrating the potential of its archive, research, exhibits, training and experience following the expansion of the exhibition space in collaboration with Studio Azzurro.
The Museo Laboratorio della Mente was awarded by ICOM Italia " the best Italian museum 2010".