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
which I did not even try to resist. A
news item in July 2010 revealed that the same company that had bought
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
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
and there was
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
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.