Madness Locked Away, this is the name of the Psychiatric Hospital Museum of San Servolo, inaugurated on 20 May 2006 in the Island of San Servolo, and houses items from the Insane Asylum, an institution that marked the history of the island from the early 1700s to 1978.  The Museum’s purpose, already implicit in its name (Madness Locked Away), is to highlight the marginalizing and segregating aspect of the mental hospital through specific exhibits, descriptions and explanatory panels.

The museum is divided into different sectors:

  • Lab (histological section, psych-physiological section, chemical-clinical section, scientific veterinary section)
  • Clinic
  • Educational relics
  • Therapy (electroconvulsive therapy, electroshock treatment, physical and moral therapies, pharmacological therapy)
  • Contention
  • Ill patients (relics and productions)
  • Manteinance and accomodations
  • Historical Pharmacy of the Psychiatric Hospital, with XIX century furniture and vases
  • Anatomy room


An introductive historical section has been added, in which the history of the island and the hospital is told, with a room with pictures and multimedia of the Insane Asylum.
All the relics exposed aim to show the development of the discipline and of the psychiatric facilities from the first internment in San Servolo in 1725 until the closure of the hospital.
The museum gathers contention equipment, XIX century drugs, electrotherapy and analysis tools of the XX century, objects of inpatients under occupational therapy (work as a treatment), a piano for music therapy, medical and administrative documents, a recreation of an anatomy room with some brains and skulls, besides pictures of alienated patients, of the asylum and its rooms.
The museum is handled by the Fondazione San Servolo IRSESC.
The scientific and historial aspect is handled by prof. Diego Fontanari and Mario Galzigna while the architect Barbara Accordi handled the exposition rooms.


Useful information:
Address: Isola di San Servolo 30124 - Venezia

Opening times:
From Friday 3 May to Sunday 22 September, the Museum  will be open at the following times:

Friday from 2.45pm to 5.15pm

Saturday and Sunday from 11.30 am to 5.15 pm

Every day  (Saturday and Sunday included) you can visit the Insane Asylum Museum by pre-booking a guided tour ( or by phone +39 041 8627167fron 9 am to 4 pm

Tickets and meeting point at the reception.

Closing days: bank holiday and November 21

€6.00 full admission;
 €4.50 reduced admission. Tickets are sold at the San Servolo Reception;
free: children up to 14 years (must be accompanied by an adult), visitors with disabilities (with accompanying person), journalists, residents of the Metropolitan City of Venice on the first Friday of each month.
Guided tours up to 10 people € 50.00; 11 to 20 people € 100.00; 21 to 30 people € 150.00; school groups € 50.00.

Phone: +39 041 2765001 / + 39 331 1728791

How to get there: ferry boat stop "S. Servolo"

Share on Facebook