The history of what in the course of time will become “Istituto Ciliota” has very far origins. In this place already existed a wooden oratory dedicated to Saint Susan, run by the neighbouring little school of Fraterna di S. Rocco. Because of the spreading of the plague, in 1484 the oratory was given, together with some adjacent houses, to Sister Chiara of the monastery of Santa Margherita in Torcello, in order to buy from the Grey-Friars of “Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari” a land on which they could build the new school.
To testify the link with the school, and the devotion to the Saint (whose corpse was kept by the Fraternita) there is, besides the naming of the church of the monastery, a painted terracotta bas-relief, placed in the frontage of the Institute entrance.
The patriarch Maffeo Girardo, on the 23rd of April 1488, blessed the first stone of the Church, which would soon have replaced the little wooden chapel. The monastery came to take in about fifty professed nuns. In 1810 the church was closed (a suspended order by a decree of Napoleon), and the monastery was turned into a brench of the “Accademia Filarmonica”.
On the 20th of July 1822 the spaces of the monastery were open to receive the community of teachers and boarding school girls, run by Don Ciliota, whose number was growing by leaps and bounds. In the neighbouring area of San Samuele, Don Pietro Ciliota had already started to receive poor girls in order to teach them catechism, and give them, with the help of some teachers, the foundations of knowledge (reading and writing), and of housework.