Domvs Comeliana

The villa has been converted into a Pavilion for scientific meetings of the Camillian Foundation and the Institutum Santorianum. It houses the Camillian Library, of general humanistic culture. Adjacent buildings house the Rectorate, the Santorian Universities, and the Biblioteca Santoriana.

These words, written in the early 50s of the last century by Marcello Comel, testify to the original purpose of the Domvs Comeliana The Domus was intended to host scientific gatherings and events named after a society Comel named after his son Camillo, who prematurely died at the age of nine, a general library and a medical library dedicated to Santorio Santori.

The Domvs Comeliana is located in the centre of Pisa, in an absolutely unique and privileged position: at the feet of the Leaning Tower and adjacent to famous Prato del Duomo. It borders to the north the medieval city walls, which date back to 1155. Despite the inaccuracies of the historical survey systems, its very position makes it possible to reconstruct the history of the Domvs, which can be easily identified in a site dating back to the first map of Pisa, in the late 15th or early 16th century.

The area where the Domus is located was occupied by vegetable gardens until about 1868. It was not until 1870 that it became inhabited and in fact an engraving of 1872 shows a road, perpendicular to the city walls, leading to a building. The long building is classified in the General Cadastre of Tuscany of the Napoleonic period as a ‘house’, surrounded by other parts of land called ‘kitchen garden with water conservatory’ or simply ‘kitchen garden’, all in the name of the same owners: Piazzi Tomaso and Gaspero di Giovan Marco.

In keeping with the will of its founder and thanks to the efforts of the Institutio Santoriana Fondazione Comel, the Domus maintains today much of its original purpose. In 2018 it was granted as the see of the Centre for the Study of Medicine and the Body (CSMBR) and since then it hosts international conferences, summer schools, lectures and exhibitions which gather in Pisa some of the best scholars in the world.

Projects are currently in place to refurbish some of the Domvs’ facilities to host a new expanded Biblioteca Santoriana. If you wish to contribute by adopting a book or donating to the CSMBR, you find out more about this in the section support us.

click to expand