Unum, Verum et Bonum - care of the soul included in the welfare services
Fondazione Venezia Servizi alla persona in collaboration with IPAV - Istituzioni Pubbliche di Assistenza Veneziane Istituto Santa Maria della Pietà
Venice has a unique history in terms of its widespread welfare system, which has guaranteed the city a certain social security, a satisfactory health and hygiene control and containment of poverty, indispensable in a place where, due to its geophysical characteristics, the inhabitants were forced to live in close contact: the rich and the poor, the sick and the healthy, honest people and wrongdoers. In the wake of the great spiritual movement that pervaded Italy and Europe in the early sixteenth century, new public assistance institutions were established with a modern revolutionary mission that the Middle Ages could never have imagined and that was not by doing charity, but by working to offer the more ill-fated a second chance in life, giving them the intellectual (education), training (professional training) and ethical (spiritual education) tools to help them become self-sufficient, productive and honest citizens, ready to reintegrate into society. This is the story behind the origin of the "Ospedali Grandi”, which were hospices providing a wide range of services for the needy and which nowadays are still very “active", embedded in the City’s fabric.