Suspense at the museum

Suspense at the museum
Suspense at the museum
From sanitary art to criminology
Suspense at the museum
Suspense at the museum

This path is decidedly particular and sometimes disturbing. We suggest a walk in Rome to visit five very original museums that will not leave you indifferent ...

We even start from a hospital, or the Santo Spirito in Sassia, which houses the National Historical Museum of Sanitary Art. Inaugurated in 1933, it is absolutely unique in its kind and accurately documents the path taken by medicine, surgery and pharmacology from the original magical domain to the scientific one. In the sale medicine is presented over the centuries, from imperial Rome to the present, through objects, books, tools that have served doctors of the past. The museum is completed by the reconstruction of an ancient pharmacy and laboratory and a rich library. Experience is a story, a story, a disease, a disease, a disease and a disease. For the less experienced visitor, objects speak the unique language of curiosity.

In the heart of the Prati district we find Profondo Rosso, the reference store for horror cinema enthusiasts and, in particular, the master of horror Dario Argento. Does it seem little to you? Be aware, then, in the basement of the shop through a macabre spiral staircase, visit Dario Argento's Museum of Horrors, in which some of the original materials used by director Dario Argento in some of his films, such as Phenomena, Opera, Demons, The Church, Stendhal Syndrome. The voice of a ghost guide shows you everything during the visit. To keep you company, moreover, there are chilling noises and a very light light. It is a must for all movie fans, not just for fanatics of the genre. Do you feel brave enough to visit it? At the bottom is "only" a museum...

Another location to visit is absolutely one of the pavilions of the former asylum of Santa Maria della Pietà, where the Laboratorio della Mente Museum is located, which was born thanks to the collaboration between ASL Roma 1 and Studio Azzurro. The structure presents itself as a narrative museum and aims to document the history of the insane asylum institution and to start a reflection on the theme of diversity and social exclusion. The idea that animates it is to build a context that allows the visitor to reflect on the concepts of normality and deviance, on the self and the other by itself; a context that gives the visitor the chance to develop empathy towards the conditions of suffering and learn what was a mental hospital and what were the mechanisms of segregation and social exclusion that were implemented there. In addition to the works of Studio Azzurro, the museum contains the scientific collections and historical finds belonging to the former mental hospital.

A few steps away from Via Giulia we find the suggestive Criminological Museum, established in 1930 as a support to the prison administration for the study of the penal and penitentiary system, as well as for the training of officials and magistrates. The study of penitentiary systems and criminology live a renewed interest and the Criminological Museum constitutes a precious historical testimony on the punitive systems of the past and a didactic tool for schools and training institutes. The exhibition, among the many exhibits on display, of ancient instruments of punishment and execution of capital, testifies to the cruelty of the punitive systems of the past, as opposed to the purposes of the penalty sanctioned by the Constitution, principles on which the current Penitentiary Law is founded. This is only one aspect that contributes to delineate the evocative path that winds through the halls of the Criminological Museum, which offers food for thought for those wishing to explore themes concerning lesser-known areas of our history.

Let's go back to the Prati district and precisely in the sacristy of the Church of the Sacred Heart of the Suffrage, often known as the "little Duomo of Milan" thanks to the neo-Gothic style that characterizes this small place of worship. The sacristy houses the Museum of the souls of Purgatory, or an exhibition of documents and testimonies that would prove the existence of Purgatory as well as the souls of the deceased who stay there waiting to ascend to Paradise. Do you know how this legend was born? The church, built in 1890, was devastated by the flames of a fire in 1897. The church was built on land owned by the founding missionary of the Association of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the suffrage of the souls in Purgatory - Fr Victor Jouët - who believed he recognized the image of a human face with an unhappy expression. This demonstration led him to believe that the soul of a deceased in punishment and sentenced to Purgatory wanted to get in touch with the living ...



Museo degli Orrori di Dario Argento
Museo Storico Nazionale dell'Arte Sanitaria
Museo Criminologico
Museo Laboratorio della Mente
Museo delle Anime del Purgatorio