Maria Cosway


The College of the Beata Vergine delle Grazie has been founded in 1812 and its purpose was to educate and form young girls (civil donzelle) from 6 to 12 yars old, who came from the nobility and upper middle class families of Lombardy.

Maria's pedagogic beliefs excluded orders or authoritarian methods and recall the the theories of J.J. Rousseau and Pestalozzi.

The personalities and the natural inclinations of the young girls were examined and the efforts were to make the most out of their personal talents; the pupils were encouraged with prizes or discounts on the school fees; the aim stressed forming “good family mothers able to bring up children and to create good impression in society” (cf. P. Rescalli, Il Cittadino 18th March 2006).

With a deed dated 7th of June 1833, while the Founder Maria Cosway was still alive, the College was transferred to the Beata Vergine Maria Institute (an order founded by Mary Ward in the XVII century), known under the name of English Ladies (so-called because pupils had to wear an austere uniform, that wasn't likely to be religious), who ran it till 1948, the year when they decided to transfer it for lack of vocation.

Then the Charity Nuns of Maria Santissima Bambina who run the college till 1978. In 1852, this Congregation (founded in Lovere in 1832), called Charity Nuns of Santa Bartolomea Capitanio (1807-1833) and Santa Vincenza Gerosa (1784-1847), opened in Lodi this house to accommodate young girls belonging to the declined nobility who wished to study and to practise women's works. In 1948 the Nuns of Maria Bambina moved the head office of the Primary Teaching Institute from street no.30 to no.6 and occupied the building inherited from Baroness Cosway.


The aim of the Maria Cosway Foundation is to educate and form young people who belong to the Lombardy environment.

Fondazione Maria Cosway   Via Paolo Gorini, 6   26900 Lodi   C.F. 84511920153