1. San Pancrazio Hospital
It was built at the beginning of 1900 as a hospital dedicated to the cure of lungs diseases. It was the first one of this age, when the reputation of Arco as healing center was yet to come. Of course the fresh air and the great climate are perfect for the treatment of lung disease, in addition to walks and wellness therapies to relax oneself from the daily stress, but people with lung issues were not accepted in luxury hotels (except from some very important guests, whose illness was not publicly known). For this reason the Suore di Carità of S. Croce created a hospital focused on the cure of tuberculosis through the most modern therapies, a suitable distance away from the more posh parts of the town. It opened in September 1902 and to this date remains a hospital dedicated to rehabilitative cures. At the beginning of the Thirties the roman painter Scipione (Gino Bonichi) was hospitalized there: he was not able to overcome the disease and died in this house on the 9th of November 1933.
"This is Segantini's town and, still today, a place of healing. A painter died here, who was really close to my heart: Scipione; and the woman I will talk to you about, Scipione must have seen her from the window of his hospital room. His "Men that turn around" must have seen her, and maybe its is because of this that they bear the horrifying look of sinners and avengers. The sanatorium where we stayed in was fifty meters away from the one Scipione died in. Both buildings were isolated in a street in the suburbs and fenced in, half by a gate, half by a mesh fence. Between the road and the residential area, [were] the countryside and the railroad, in the back a bluff, where a path ran up to the peak of the mountain, to an ancient ruined castle. Scipione, dying, could not see the mountain; the last picture he had of nature were fields, the plane trees of the street, the sky, low on the horizon, always gray, gloomy sometimes, overseas and dark; tangible in this light, the presence of the lake, Lake Garda, past the countryside and the town center, far away, where whistle of the train faded.[I wouldn't have remembered Scipione if it wasn't for this light, unspoken, but so uniquely his, the winter after his death, that he had not time to paint; if not for his "Men that turn around" that he kept in his sick room and which have always, for years and years, been connected to that woman. They are looking at me and my four companions.]
VASCO PRATOLINI, Gli uomini che si voltano "Men that turn around" (from Sentimental Diary), A. Mondadori, 1993