I saw this sign many times when I rented an apartment in Cannaregio, a few years ago.


I didn’t know exactly what it was, until I read about it in the Venice  Experience blog , where Karen describes her excellent rehabilitation care after knee surgery,  at this hospital. Here is her final post on this experience. http://theveniceexperience.blogspot.it/2011/03/saying-goodbye-to-fatebenefratelli.html#sthash.Hoq8l1g8.dpbs

A friend who works there invited me come and have a look around this interesting place. The building itself and the philosophy of care made me wish I was young enough to be able to work there!

Fatebenefratelli literally means “do well brothers”, and the hospital is run by Brothers of the Order of St John of God.


St John of God.
The symbol used by St John of God Health Care is a cross with a pomegranate. The cross symbolises the Christian heritage of the organisation; the pomegranate, which is open to allow the seeds to scatter, symbolises self-giving and represents the organisation’s values.

The present-day site of the Fatebenefratelli hospital in Palazzo Benci-Zecchini  dates to 1882 and the annexed modern hospital structure is a classified hospital, recognized in 1985 as a hospital specialized in rehabilitative medicine. There is ongoing restoration work on parts of the building, with the front covered in scaffolding.

On a wellhead in the entry to the hospital is the family coat of arms of the Zecchini family.



The views from the rear of the building are stunning (on a clear day). What a nice spot for your coffee break.


Alberto pointed out the Venetian spelling on the door of this storeroom. (The Italian spelling is magazzino)

Alberto pointed out the Venetian spelling on the door of this storeroom. (The Italian spelling is magazzino)


Filed under Venice

15 responses to “Fatebenefratelli

  1. As Italians always complain about their hospitals, I’m thrilled to have read about Karen’s positive experience 🙂


  2. Keeping you in my good weather wishes dear one.


  3. Oh, Linda, it is my pleasure. I only wish the weather would improve, it has inhibited my explorations somewhat.


  4. I remember reading all about Karen’s experience!
    Wish the stateside rehab offered a spiritual aspect to its programs. In the last five years we have extensive experience of the rehab available post-stroke.
    Thanks Yvonne….Isn’t it amazing the layers that you are uncovering??
    Thanks for taking the time!!


  5. Love the shot of the wellhead. You could locate one of those anywhere in the world in any context and it would always still scream “Venezia” to me.


  6. I can see why one would want to work there.


  7. jan Graham

    Very interesting, good to have rehabitation,


  8. You were the one who put me on the trail of the information, Karen, and Alberto helped me with so much more, for which I am thankful. I just couldn’t do justice to the place with words and photos, it’s quite amazing.

    I realised after, that we have Saint John of God hospitals in Australia.


  9. Karen

    I spent almost a month as a resident here and never knew the name of the family who lived here originally. You are the source of incredible knowledge! So glad you got to see inside. I always loved hobbling down to the lobby and passing the motorboat parked inside!!!!


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