The building known as Real Collegio was the convent of S.Frediano Church in the sixth century.
The Romanesque church, founded by the bishop Frediano, was rebuilt in the twelfth century and the convent underwent further changes until the seventeenth century. The convent became a university institute under the government of Lucca Republic in the eighteenth century.
After the fall of the Republic it was transformed into secular and religious college under the rule of the princess Elisa Bonaparte, Napoleon's sister.
It was called "Royal College" under the Borboni Dukedom and "College Ferdinando" when Lucca was annexed to Tuscany in 1847.
It was an important landmark for Lucca until its closure in 1938.
Later the town of Lucca and its council became the owner of the building, using it as home to several schools until 2001 when it became Youth Hostel.