Manicomio di Colorno

Opened in 1873 and closing in the 1990's, Manicomio di Colorno is notable in the history of Italian psychiatric care, as the place where the de-institutionalisation of mental hospitals began. After a protest by nursing students in 1969 over the treatment of psychiatric patients, Dr Franco Basaglia arrived as the new director in 1970. Under his leadership, the hospital began a more enlightened course of patient care. So much so that when 'Law 180' was passed, a law extending a fuller range of rights to psychiatric patients, it was Basaglia's name that became attached to that law. The changes that swept through Italian psychiatry were similar to those that were to come in the UK with 'Care in the Community' which spelt the beginning of the end for the Italian manicomios.