Hey, doll face – l’Ospedale delle Bambole – An unusual place to visit in Naples

Ospedalle delle Bambole - 1950's doll under observation, diagnosed with sad doll sickness! Stunning photo by Ciro Seccia

In a little cobbled street in Naples, in a little cluttered store, thousands of little bodies and body parts lie. Eyes stare blankly out from behind the dusty windows, some mouths agape, others have their tiny lips pursed, yet a few give a wink and a smile.

 

This macabre imagery is in reality something sweeter – l’Ospedale delle Bambole, the Hospital for Dolls.

The street it is on is quaintly named after bookmakers (‘Librai’) who worked their trade here centuries ago.

People from around Italy and beyond send in their broken dolls and random doll parts to the Doll Hospital where the resident doll ‘surgeon’ can use them to create new and beautiful (or at least unusual) ‘bambole’.

 

This hospital has been here since 1800 and has continued as a family-run operation dedicated to the serious business of fixing up dolls. Initially, dolls were usually made from wax, rags and on rare occasions, porcelain. Today, there are dolls of all makes and models, even some teddy bears in need of some attention.

 

The Ospedale delle Bambole also has their own Facebook page and Ospedale delle Bambole website. You can also watch some footage of the store online.

*** If you’d like to visit Naples, we can arrange a private guided tour of the city with A Day in Southern Italy: Naples, Pompeii and Sorrento with private guide/driver.

 

You could also extend this excursion to a 2-day event to truly enjoy the magic of this area  with our Jewels of the South: Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento and the Isle of Capri 2 Day Tour.

 

If you’re in or near Naples, Pompeii is a must-see and we can help you arrange an exclusive guided tour of Pompeii too.

And of course, if you’d like a tailored, private guided tour of Naples and surrounds, extending to anywhere in Italy actually, please do email us on staff@artviva.com or  call us on Italian number +39 055 264 5033. ***

 

l’Ospedale delle Bambole

via San Biagio dei Librai, 81 80131

Napoli, Italy

tel. +39 081 203067 cell. +39 339 5872274

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About Artviva Tours, Italy

We at ArtViva love sharing the beauty of life in the Bel Paese, from Italian art, history and culture to the wonderful food and wine and everything in between! Live the experience along with us through our articles and informative posts, and be sure to check out our outstanding small-group tours and experiences in Florence, Venice, Rome, Cinque Terre and beyond.
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