Nicolò de Scarani was one of the greatest benefactors of the Opera Pia, which preserves his archive and numerous works from his collection of the building in via San Felice. With the testament of February 3, 1854, which was in fact only executive since 1869, he gave the Ente a substantial building and land patrimony together with the important collection of paintings.The Opera Pia dei Poveri Mendicanti was a civic welfare institutional service created in Bologna, Italy, in the 16th century by a group of ruling patricians to care for sick and poor people. The service included taking control of hostels, infirmaries, and foundling homes, as well as orphanages, which were initially controlled by confraternities. It represented the government taking control of these privately funded institutions. The reason the ruling elites decided to do this is because they believed they could provide more help than the confraternities. The plan was to ameliorate the poor through discipline, education, and by finding them sufficient work; thus, helping the people escape their perpetual poverty in a modern sense.