The Palmieri Boarding School (Convitto Palmieri) is the result of demolitions and reconstructions carried out in different time spans, as it was frequently the case for religious and convent buildings, whose realization was always linked to donations from the faithful or other forms of support. The architectural complex represents an articulated but unified structure, conceived and realized over the centuries, and in particular during the 19th century, as a result of multiple interventions and rethinks, and with different uses, culminating in the 19th century with the establishment of the highest-ranking scholar institution in the city of Lecce.
The church of San Francesco della Scarpa, is considered the original site. The buildings of the former convent were built and developed close to it and form today's Palmieri Boarding School complex. Unlike the city's other churches, characterized by their sumptuous Baroque façades, the church of San Francesco della Scarpa has no façade (it is also called the 'church without a façade'), due to 19th-century works that incorporated a large part of the church into the colonnade of the former Palmieri Boarding School.
Convitto Palmieri houses the Bernardini Provincial Library, as a partial result of a general renovation project aimed at transforming the entire structure into a large cultural center at the service of the city of Lecce.