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Pietro Pisani e la Real Casa dei Matti (1824-1837)


he essay reconstructs the story linked to the foundation of the Real Casa dei Matti in Palermo, whose project was entrusted in 1824 to Baron Pietro Pisani. After a first part aimed at reconstructing Pisani's biographical profile and his role in the Bourbon administrative organization chart, a second part articulates the way in which ‘moral therapy’ was developed in Sicily. The essay allows us to observe - in a perspective that considers the theoretical contexts of psychiatry and the institutions for the treatment of mental illness in Eu- rope - how the aristocrat, in a moment characterized by the first success of psychiatric medicine, ended up marginalizing the role of doctors by centralizing a large part of the prerogatives of the treatment of insanity on themselves.