The Trovatelli Hospital
The fate of the innocent: up to the 19th century, children that people wanted to abandon were left on a rotating wooden drum, placed inside the building and protected by a grate to restrict entry to infants only. However, these were not always foundlings, since during the period of the witch hunt, pregnancies had to be authorised by the Council of the People, in order to have full control over births and facilitate the work of the city registry. Families who for whatever reason failed to comply with the aforementioned law could face serious consequences and the worst of all was the accusation of witchcraft against the mother, as she was considered an accomplice of the Devil in generating a child. In this case, mother and child, if the pregnancy were not concealed and the newborn baby hidden (and left into the wheel), risked being killed. Abandonedchildren found inside the facility were registered and given a name and sometimes a surname. This is the origin of surnames like Esposito (exposed), Proietti, Colombi, Innocenti, Degl'Innocenti, Locatelli, but also Bastardi, Trovati, D’Ignoto.