convent school for young women 1900-1910 abruzzo, italy

As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
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GeneTree
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convent school for young women 1900-1910 abruzzo, italy

Post by GeneTree » 16 Dec 2018, 04:51

I have been searching this topic on Google and elsewhere with very little luck. My wife's paternal grandmother was born and grew up in Citta Sant'Angelo, Pescara. She told her daughters she attended a convent school near this area. She married 22 Jan 1911 and was born 30 May 1892. Her husband was born 10 Apr 1879 so was quite older. Her marriage was arranged and she told her children she didn't want to marry and leave Italy. As soon as she was married she emigrated with her husband back to Pittsburgh, PA and died there in 1972 having eight children from 1912 to 1926. She remained Roman Catholic in Pittsburgh but several of her married boys and their children became Presbyterian.

Does anyone have information about convent schools for young girls at this early time in Italy? What would they have been taught? I found an online article about Convents in Early Modern Europe that said girls attended convent school to wait for marriage or become a nun. I am hoping to find a little more detail about life in convent school for young girls.

Thanks for your help.

GeneTree

erudita74
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Re: convent school for young women 1900-1910 abruzzo, italy

Post by erudita74 » 09 Mar 2019, 15:44

I don't know if this will help answer your question, as it is from an excerpt of a diary of a woman who was sent to a convent school in Lombardy, in northern Italy, in the 1870s. I don’t know though if her details were indicative of all convent schools in Italy at the time, or even in the early 1900s.

The Ursuline convent school she attended, two hours from her home by rented horse-drawn buggy, was close to the Swiss border and a boarding school. She was age 12 when she entered it and age 18 when she left there. She was brought there by her widowed father, as her mother had died when she was only five years old. Not only did her father have a business to run, but he was also interested in establishing a relationship with a woman who had daughters close to her own age. She had untreated hip dysplasia since infancy, which had left her with a limp.

Once enrolled there, she was only allowed to go home on certain holidays like Easter and Christmas, and during the summer. The daily routine there was very rigid. She had to be up by 6 a.m. and to bed by 10 P.M., although older girls (from age 15) were permitted to stay up later and even were permitted to read books from the school library. She had to sleep in a dormitory style room with 11 other girls, and a nun who slept at the corner of the room. The girls were not permitted to talk. Their beds were separated by a curtain on each side and each girl, in addition to her own bed, had a nightstand with a ewer and a basin, a chamber pot, a candle holder, and a candle. During the day, she was required to wear a jumper style uniform with a blouse, a slip, vest, underpants, and woolen stockings and, during the night, a rough cotton nightgown.

In the mornings, she had to be up and completely ready by 6 a.m., with her hands and face washed, her hair braided, her bed made, and ready for inspection before Mass. After Mass, she had breakfast and then proceeded to the school room. On Mondays, all the girls also had to take a dose of Magnesia to clean out their stomachs, whether they needed to or not. They took tub baths once a week. There was a mirror, but it was placed high on the wall, so the girls could only see and comb their hair. When the weather was good, the girls were permitted to take long walks in the countryside after school. In the harsh winter months, they were taught to knit, crochet, embroider, and sew.

Life at the convent school was governed by bells. There was one for getting up in the morning, a bell for Mass, for running to the schoolroom, for morning prayers, for grace before and after meals, for the end of school, for assemblies, and for evening rosary. She was taught religion and prayers in Latin and also the graces needed for the outside world. Sometimes she and the other girls would even accompany a nun to the kitchen where they would learn the art and cleanliness of food. At the convent school, she was cared for and taught all of the things needed to prepare her for life in the outside world. By the time she was 18, and returned home, she had received an extraordinary education for someone of her background and of that time period in Italy.


Erudita

GeneTree
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Re: convent school for young women 1900-1910 abruzzo, italy

Post by GeneTree » 22 Mar 2019, 02:36

Thank you, Erudita. I appreciate the time and effort to give your reply. Yes, it does help because it gives a background for a convent school. Genetree

erudita74
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Re: convent school for young women 1900-1910 abruzzo, italy

Post by erudita74 » 22 Mar 2019, 12:13

So happy to hear that the info I found is useful to you. Interesting research for me too!
Erudita

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