Despite the fact that Italy was the birthplace of Renaissance scientific anatomy, its division into several states did not favour the modernisation of regulations on the handling of corpses that occurred in other countries during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The inadequacy of existing norms, often based on basic agreements between citizens, therefore did not emerge until after unification, with the expansion of medical studies and the establishment of principles of hygiene. This essay traces the cultural and political circumstances of the 1880s that led to the introduction of state legislation able to ensure the availability of enough bodies (almost always those of the poorest sections of the population) to meet the demand from scientific research and medical studies, and it also looks at the new municipal hygiene regulations that covered every aspect of the treatment of dead bodies in order to ease popular anxieties about the new legislation. Those years saw the establishment of the great anatomical collections of the Italian universities, which in some cases, such as that of Turin, were also used to exhibit the supposed racial characteristics of the Italian population.
Keywords: Anatomy, Nineteenth Century, Dead body Università degli Studi di Torino firstname.lastname@example.org