Genova – Gaslini Hospital


The idea of building this great work was Gerolamo Gaslini’s in 1917, immediately after the premature death at only eleven years of his daughter Giannina (Genoa, 1906 – 10 February 1917) for a peritonitis not diagnosed in time. In 1921 Gaslini began his first contacts with the then president of the Civil Hospitals of Genoa, Mattia Moresco. His plan from the beginning was not to build a normal hospital, even if necessary in a very backward country in the health field, but a structure expressly dedicated to “the care, defense and assistance of childhood and boyhood”. For various reasons the time was lengthened and only in 1938 did a hearing entirely dedicated to the institute take place in Palazzo Venezia.

Gerolamo Gaslini and his wife Lorenza decided to finance this work as a commitment to support health and hope that the fate of the daughter “will be avoided to all children”. [2] Gaslini devotes himself so much to this hospital that it will be defined as his passion; [3] the institute is not a simple structure he finances like any other company, but a commitment in which he fielded all his knowledge and his financial and entrepreneurial skills, resulting as a true innovator in a foreign field to him, health.

The structure was inaugurated on May 15, 1938, in the presence of Benito Mussolini who had been a supporter, and already in 1939 it was recognized as a first-class children’s hospital. During the Second World War, in addition to continuing its normal activity, the hospital also lends itself to treating the wounded in battle. Furthermore, Gerolamo Gaslini, still alive, decided to donate the entire heritage to the paediatric institute he founded, so much so that his wife and daughter Germana also renounced the inheritance. All this dedication came from the desire of the founder to ensure the maximum efficiency of a public structure that is so important for the care and research for the health of children. The money invested by him is about 55 million while the management costs are borne by the institutions involved. And the financial aid of his trusted-men is also continuous, with the aim of facing the crisis of civil hospitals that lasted between 1943 and 1945.

There have been realized in this avant-garde structure, building works and plants in preparation to the installation of a biplane angiographic system.