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Tommaso Pendola Museum

Tommaso Pendola Museum

Via Tommaso Pendola n. 35
Siena, Italy

The Pendola Institute is a foundation established for the treatment of severe congenital deafness, located on Via Tommaso Pendola #35-43 in the town center of Siena, region of Tuscany, Italy. It has a long history, starting as a charitable institution founded by the Genoese Scolopi priest Tomasso Pendola (1800-1883) in the early 1820s, and promulgating an oralist therapy for the deaf-mutes. The subsequent decades have modified the funding and scope of activities.

The oral method, fostered by Pendola, involved lip reading, was the main method used in Europe during the 19th and most of the 20th-century. Some sources claim that Roman Catholicism favored oral tradition, versus sign language methods, because speech was required for confession. After Pendola's death, the name was changed by decree of Umberto I to the Royal Institute Pendola for Deaf Mutes. In 1980 the school was closed and the students were transferred mainly to Istituto Gualandi. 

Today the headquarters of the former institute houses the museum dedicated to the school, full of handicrafts made by pupils and specific equipment used in the classroom.


The library is located in the former refectory of the ancient monastery of Santa Margherita, a large rectangular hall. Here, on the back wall is depicted the "Last Supper" by Bernardino Fungai (1460-1516), inspired by the fresco by Cosimo Rosselli in the Sistine Chapel.

Also by Fungai are "Prayer in the Garden", "The Crucifixion", "The capture of Christ", painted in the three lunettes above the Cenacle.