The Scuola Normale was founded by Napoleon in 1810 as a twin of the École Normale Supériore in Paris.
Palazzo della Carovana has been its main seat since 1846. This magnificent building was built on a medieval palace between 1562 and 1564 based on a project by the famous architect, Giorgio Vasari.
Inside Palazzo della Carovana, Franco Mari, Elena's boyfriend, takes a university exam at the beginning of the second episode, then rushes out and looks out onto Piazza dei Cavalieri to seek out Elena. Watch the scene here.
Piazza dei Cavalieri is located less than a 10 minute walk from the famous Leaning Tower and offers a glimpse into much of the history that has occured in the city.
Buildings that are worthy of note include Palazzo dell'Orologio, mentioned by Dante in the 33rd canto of Inferno when he tells the story of its owner, Count Ugolino della Gherardesca. Also pay attention to the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri which houses the banners looted from the Turks during the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.