First, the researchers will use ground-penetration radar to search for hidden tombs inside the convent. Then, they will search the bones to identify ones that are compatible with Gherardini’s — bones that belonged to a woman who died in her 60s in the period in question. The group will also look for specific characteristics such as traces of possible diseases or bone structure to match what is known of Gherardini’s life.

If such bones are identified, the researchers will conduct carbon dating and extract DNA, which will be compared to that extracted from the bones of Gherardini’s children, some of whom are buried in a basilica also in Florence.

Finally, if skull fragments are found, depending on how well-preserved they are, the group might attempt a facial reconstruction. This step will be crucial to ascertain whether Gherardini was indeed the model for the “Mona Lisa” and thus the owner of that famous smile.