Founded in 1810, the Normale has lived through the last two centuries of the history of Italy, and has often stood at its crossroads: from Napoleon to the Unification, from the two world wars to the Republic.
The foundation and the Napoleonic period
On 18th October 1810, Napoleon signs a decree establishing an «academic residence» for university students in Pisa: it is in this way that the Normale of Pisa comes into existence.
The Normale of the Grand Duke
After the Napoleonic closure, in 1843 the Normale reopens and moves to its present site, the Palazzo della Carovana. Among the students of this period is the future Nobel prizewinner Giosuè Carducci.
The Scuola Normale of the Kingdom of Italy (the Regno d’Italia)
The new government of the unified Italy chooses to preserve but not to enlarge the Normale model: there will be only one Scuola Normale del Regno d’Italia, and its site will be in Pisa.
The Gentile Reform and the Fascist period
During the Fascist period, the philosopher and Normalista Giovanni Gentile will leave a new and lasting mark on the Normale. These are difficult years, marked by reaction and repression; but they are also the years of Paul Oskar Kristeller, Aldo Capitin
Decadence and recovery: the postwar period
The Normale is not spared by the dramatic events of the war, although thanks to the courage of its directors, Russo and Tonelli, the Scuola will defend its printed heritage and its site, overcoming extremely harsh restrictions. In 1959, the Normale opens
From the Republic to the present day
Today the Normale is an internationally recognised place of research and training, a place where the talent, merit and ability of its students represent founding values and where gender, social provenance, economic condition and religious or political bel
The Directors of the Scuola Normale
All the directors of the Scuola Normale from 1813 to this day