Ospedale al Mare

On my Venice Trip of 2009, on a visit to the Lido searching for churches, I found the dilapidated Ospedale al Mare. It's a sprawling, neglected and atmospherically crumbling old hospital complex, full of tempting photo opportunities  which I did not even try to resist. A news item in July 2010 revealed that the same company that had bought the famous Grand Hôtel des Bains on the Lido and turned it into luxury flats had bought the Ospedale al Mare site too.

In September 2010 I went back and took some more photos. There were more open doors this time, some busted open, and more vandalism inside, in the old theatre most noticeably. The open doors meant that I was able to do a bit more wandering and photographing inside. In one room I found piles of old patient records, the very thing that had caused a bit of a furore on Venetian TV a while back. There's a YouTube link to this news item below.

In June 2011 an email told of restoration plans for the theatre, Il Teatrino Liberty, and a link to details. This link is now dead and the protests and plans dated from 2006, so well before my first visit, let alone the second when considerably more vandalism had taken place, so no cause for optimism there.

I visited again in September 2011. I took more photos, and noticed impromptu banners over the entrance to the ospedale and over the church door. There were people in the theatre and I spoke to a very nice man representing a group opposing the dereliction of the Ospedale, and particularly the theatre, and the continued lack of progress in developing the site. In 2014 the group protesting the sad dereliction of the theatre and the ongoing non-development of the site had a new website teatromarinonibenecomune.com and there was cantiere-oam.org too. Both sites are now defunct. For more recent news on this 'dormitory of degradation' and tortuous detail on some typically Italian financial shenanigans and the (lack of) redevelopment go here.

News became sparse, but in 2017, with the Ospedale becoming the haunt of graffiti artists and squatters, Club Med publicised an interest in building a hotel on the site. And in June 2018 came the news that Club Med and TH Resorts had signed on the dotted line and that two hotel complexes were to open on the site in 2021, with all of the existing buildings, apart from the church of Santa Maria Nascente and the Marinoni Theatre, due to be demolished. But as of late 2019 no work seemed to have begun.

In September 2022 came news that an offer from German entrepreneur Frank Gotthardt for the Ospedale site had been accepted, his proposal being for a eHealth Technopark dedicated to research into digital healthcare. (Not sure what that is - caring for fingers?) It is said that the project, called Mare, 'will return to the community historic sites such as the Marinoni Theater and the church of Santa Maria Nascente'. We shall see.


The photos I took in 2011





The photos I took in 2010








The photos I took in 2009





The ceiling painting is by Giuseppe Cherubini








Photos from the 1930s
Some photos taken soon after the hospital was built, and so prone to visits from dignitaries, and Mussolini. 
The first photo shows the site before the hospital was built.







A visit from Il Duce...

...and Prince Umberto di Savoia (below)


Venice // Florence // London // Berlin