In Rome sacred and profane mix togheter, the church of saint Bartolomeo has been built over the ruins of a 3rd century B.C. temple dedicated to the god Esculapio, right on the Tiber island.
Esculapio was the greek god of medicine, his symble was a snake, and when the temple was in use there were many pilgrims arriving with the hope of healing their illnesses.
The legend has it that the sick had to spend a night in the portico of the temple where they would have had the dream of healing.
In the year 1000 the church of saint Bartolomeo has been realized over the ancient temple and later in front of the church has been built the hospital “Fate bene fratelli”.
Nowdays, many people before going to hospital decide to honor the old pagan tradition, perhaps for superstition, sleeping one night in the portico of the church of san Bartolomeo.