Maria Dalle Donne – The birthplace of the first female doctorate in medicine in Roncastaldo

Italian physician and a director at the University of Bologna. Dalle Donne was born in 1778, to a peasant family at Roncastaldo, a village outside Bologna.

In 1800, Dalle Donne published three scientific papers. The first, on anatomy and physiology, was a review and commentary on work previously done on female reproduction and fertility, fetal malformations, and blood circulation in the uterus. The second, suggested for the first time that diseases of female fertility be classified on the basis of symptoms. The third, focused on midwifery and the care of newborns.

In 1829, Dalle Donne became the second female, after Laura Bassi, to be inducted to the prestigious Ordine dei Benedettini Accademici Pensionati, in which she was given the title “Academic”. In 1832, Dalle Donne became Director of the Department of Midwifery at the University of Bologna.

Maria Dalle Donne’s birth house / Image source

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