Via puccini, n° 19 - Saint Gregorio's Palace, current site of the Middle School "G. Marconi"

In the past, the building belonged to the company of Saint Antonio Abate and from 1540 was the site of the hospital orphanage of San Gregorio, founded in 1223 to host the 'gettatelli' (literally 'thrown away') children. The building was completely restored in the middle of 18th century by the architect Romualdo Cilli and, together with the adjacent church, was also dedicated to Saint Gregorio. The project included a large U-shaped structure, inside the inner courtyard, but it wasn't completed and a significant part of the west wing of the building was left unfinished. In 1784 the Archduke Pietro ordered the creation of the 'Regi Spedali Riuniti' (Royal Reunited Hospitals) and also the transfer of babies, wetnurses and of 93 young girls, called 'Innocentine' (little innocents) into the Ceppo hospital. The building then passed into ecclesiastical ownership and the architect Stefano Ciardi was asked to study how to convert it into a new episcopal base. This hypotesis was soon abandoned however, because it would have been too expensive. It was then decided that a new building was to be built for the Bishop, close to the existing one, which would also include some part of the Saint Gregorio Hospital. In 1786, by order of the Archduke, the palace was restored to host the administration of the ecclesiastical estate, the garments, the archive and the records office of the Bishops. In 1795, ownership passed to the Reunited Hospitals, and the following year was purchased by Giuseppe Puccini on behalf of his wife Maddalena Brunozzi. He then asked Giuseppe Manetti to divide it into four different areas which he would then rent. Niccolò Puccini, had inherited the building from his mother who had always been a great benefactor of the orphanage. When he died the building was restored by the architect Angiolo Gamberai and was made into 'il Conservatorio degli Orfani' (the conservatory of the orphans), to whom Niccolò, on his death, left all his estate. The orphans then moved from the old site of the Calconia of Via Baroni, to the new building with solemn ceremony on April the 29th 1861. In 1907 'il Conservatorio degli Orfani' (the conservatory of the orphans) was joined to the 'Pia Casa di Lavoro Conversini' (The Conversini Merciful House of Work), an institution that had been built with donations from Tommaso Conversini and which had a similar purpose to that of the orphanage. The house hosted boys who had been orphaned of one parent or were in desperate need of a place to stay. In this place they were able to learn a trade by means of theoretical lessons and by doing practical work in specific, associated companies such as 'le officine Michelucci' (The Michelucci Office) for iron work and the Trinci company for the construction of chariots. The workhouse was in front of the Church of Saint Vitale, at the corner of Corso Gramsci and Via Niccolò Puccini. Unfortunately, the Conversini palace was completely destroyed during a bombing in the second world war in 1943. In 1950 a new building was built, which is now the site of the professional school 'Antonio Pacinotti', which continues the ideals of the charitable institution that once operated here. The palace of Saint Gregorio continued to host young men until 1965, except for a short period of time during the second world war. Today the building is a school, the Middle School 'Guglielmo Marconi. On the first floor of the building, in the chapel designed by Angiolo Gamberai a sculpture byLuigi Pampaloni 'Gli orfani sulla rupe' (The orphans on the cliff) and the tomb of Niccolò Puccini, which was made in 1862 by the sculptor Odoardo Fantacchiotti can be found.
CNA Pistoia - Realizzato da SIS Informatica.