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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2006 October;58(5):503-10

language: Italian

Who was the very first teacher of paediatrics in Italy?

Farnetani I. 1,2, Farnetani F. 2

1 Dipartimento di omunicazione Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Milano
2 Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana “Treccani”


It has always been said that the first teachings of paediatrics in Italy were those of Dante Cervesato in Padua. However, documents indicate the historic groundlessness of such information. During the period after the unification of Italy and before Cervesato, teaching was carried out in Venice, Siena, Naples and Genoa. The first teaching post with a teaching hospital was founded in 1882 and appointed to Moisè Raffael Levi as a temporary professor following a national exam in Florence. Cervesato began lessons in May 1882, nevertheless was put in charge without a ward which was only assigned to him in 1889. He became temporary professor in 1885, 13 years after Levi. One cannot conclude without mentioning Aurelio Bianchi, Professor Levi’s assistant, who had to abandon his university career in order to become head of the ''Meyer'' hospital in Florence due to the death of his predecessor.

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