The building that houses the Mantua Conservatory of Music was formerly a female cloistered monastery belonging to the Order of the Servants of Mary. It was founded in 1497 and was dedicated to Santa Maria della Misericordia. The building dates back to the first decades of the 16th century and maintained the function of a convent until 1797 when it was transformed into a military barracks by the French.

The military use of the building lasted until the end of the 1950s. Subsequently it was used as a school and hosted, for a few decades, some middle and high schools of the city. In the 1990s it was practically abandoned and it experienced serious deterioration.

At the beginning of the 2000s, at the request of the Istituto Musicale which was in great difficulty due to lack of space, the Province of Mantua launched an impressive redevelopment project for the building, using it as a new Conservatory headquarters, committing resources and making use of substantial funding from the Ministry of Universities as well as from the Lombardy Region and important banking foundations. The building is divided into various structures that revolve around the beautiful main cloister