This was built in the fourteenth century, along with the adjacent church as a charitable institution dedicated to the care of abandoned infants. It was rebuilt again in the sixteenth century, in Renaissance style, and then again in the eighteenth century by Luigi and Carlo Vanvitelli, after a fire. If you go through the elegant marble portal - designed in the sixteenth century by the Lombardian artist Tommaso Malvito and his son Giovanni Tommaso, with wooden leaves engraved by Pietro Belverte and Giovanni da Nola in the sixteenth century - you will reach the courtyard and the 'Wooden Wheel'. This was a type of cylindrical wooden drum into which the children were placed for a ride, together with several nannies, just in case. The inmates of this institution were called 'Children of the Madonna' and 'Children of Our Lady of the Annunciation', and enjoyed certain priveleges. Some were found with pieces of paper around their necks, on which were written the names of their parents, and others had with them pieces of gold or silver. The existence of these items, together with any other sign, was recorded in a book, in order to facilitate a possible future reconciliation with the parents. The 'Wheel', was one of the most famous of its kind in Italy and was not used after 22nd June 1875.
Attractions & Landmarks, Educational
- Nearest Train: Piazza Garibaldi