In post-unifi cation Italy, a lively debate arose on the need to renew educational practices, so that they could support the formation of citizens useful to the country, and on the role of women in the advancement of the education of people. With this background in mind one should read the nexus – that the article retraces through the analysis of their private correspondence – between the German philanthropist and educator Julie Salis Schwabe, promoter of the Froebelian method in Italy, and Adelaide Pignatelli del Balzo Princess of Strongoli – initiator, in her role of inspector, of the innovations that, from 1891, characterized the Institute Suor Orsola Benincasa of Naples, and by whom the same Schwabe was affected. In fact, while it is true that Schwabe had the merit of introducing the Froebelian method in Naples, on the other hand it was only through the comparison with local institutional contexts that she learnt in depth the need to open her school to higher and professional education, which instead, by earmarking it to girls and providing it with a highly practical framework, the Princess of Strongoli had activated in Suor Orsola from 1892.