Not a word you come across every day, this one.
If you’re understandably unfamiliar with it, it’s a term for a building reserved for the quarantine of lepers or poor people with other diseases. I was reminded of it while writing earlier about the word quarantine and its Venetian origins.
Lazareto itself is derived from Lazarus, the biblical character apparently resurrected by Jesus. This is because Lazarus, like most of the unfortunate inhabitants of a lazaretto, was both poor and suffered greatly from disease. Suffered so much that he died.
Sadly logical as that etymology is, hopefully the word also had some positive connotations for some. Lazarus after all, is most famous not for being poor, or sick, but for being resurrected. Hopefully that at least gave some small hope for recovery to some of those entering a lazaretto.