Survival of the Lucky: Foundling Children in the Ospedale degli Innocenti
Foundlings , Florence , Renaissance , Innocenti , Wet nursing
The Ospedale degli Innocenti, a foundling hospital, was built during the Florentine Renaissance to fill a vital need to house the large amount of foundlings. However, once within institutional walls, these children were often the victims of malnutrition and died. If they survived, however, these children may have faced abuse as cheap labor through Innocenti contracts. Despite the death and abuse that was rampant in the Innocenti, it was not the intent or purpose of the hospital; rather, it was the flawed methods they used that led to death and abuse.