Museo Storico Nazionale Dell' Arte Sanitaria – Rome, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Rome, Italy

Museo Storico Nazionale Dell' Arte Sanitaria

One of the most important yet well-hidden museums dedicated to the history of medicine.  

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Located just east of Rome’s Vatican City, this medical history museum is housed in a former anatomical theater where students dissected corpses to better understand human anatomy. The anatomical theater was part of the complex of Santo Spirito in Sassia, a learning hospital established in the 12th century.

Today, the museum includes a reconstruction of a 17th-century pharmacy and alchemical laboratory (where you can see a reproduction of Rome’s famous alchemical door), a large library of old books, and an impressive display of anatomical models. The wax models include the alleged skull of Pliny the Elder, and a rare ivory anatomical Venus from the 17th century. 

Know Before You Go

You can take public transit to the Ottaviano station and from there walk 15 minutes to get to the museum. It is only open only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., or by calling to schedule a visit. Admission is 5 euro.  

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