Main attractions in Milan
Hotel Zurich is located in the city center of Milan, within walking distance from many attractions such as the Cathedral and places that in the course of time, have told stories about great protagonists!
On the anniversary of G.Verdi, we suggest two very interesting ‘’historic’’ routes.
House of Alessandro Manzoni
Via Morone, 1
Here the writer lived until his death. This house hosted, among others, Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, Giuseppe Garibaldi and G.Verdi who had great admiration for the writer and who composed a Requiem Mass, which was performed in the church of San Marco, in 1874, a year after his death.
The palace had a different shape at the time, without the additions required by the architect Andrea Boniappassionato who discovered the Lombard terracottas and ‘’modernized’’ the building in 1865.
In 1874, his heirs put on sale the building, but the motion of the mayor Belinzaghi, who intended to purchase the building especially because of its interesting library, was not accepted. The furniture, with the exception of Manzoni’s office, was then sold to junk dealers. The ‘’Banca commerciale italiana’’(Commercial Bank) bought the garden. On initiative of the Cassa di risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde , the Centro Nazionale degli studi Manzoniani finally was estlabished in the building.
Via Morone, 2
A few steps from the residence of Manzoni is the house that hosted Massimo d'Azzeglio, writer, painter and politician who had married one of the writer’s daughters.
Once Via Omeoni, then via Borgonuovo today named Via Benigno Crespi, 19
The well established publisher ‘’Ricordi’’ lived in via Omeoni at number 1720, one of the first to appear in Milan’s public music publishing scene. Later he will become the publisher of the works of Verdi, and will personally take care of his personal archive.
Caffé della Cecchina
Once Via delle case rotte, at the corner with Via Manzoni.
It is one of the many names given to the ‘’Caffe’ Martini’’, opposite the ‘’Teatro della Scala’’. Following the works and the official opening of Piazza Scala, it moved to the corner between Contrada S.Giovanni alle case rotte and Corsia del giardino.
Here, artists, musicians, gathered to comment on rehearsals and representations performed at La Scala, but also to discuss politics.
The name "Caffe’dei pompieri " was born on of the fact that the chorus of La Scala only ordered glasses of water!
When it became necessary to move to a new place, loyal customers launched a subscription to be able to relaunch it.
Piazza Scala (Scala square)
Place of the municipality , it was built in 1557 for Tommaso Marino, who lived there with his family and his beautiful wife Ara Cornato, who was related with the Queen of Cyprus, and that Marino had kidnapped in order to make her his wife. At that time the main entrance was facing Piazza San Fele. From 1781 it became heritage of the state. The facade of Via delle case rotte dates this period as well. In 1848 it was also the place of the temporary Government.
San Fedele Square
It is one of Milan’s most important places of the nineteenth century. You overlook the Palazzo della Questura, the Hotel Bella Venezia and Palazzo Marino. In 1814, following the popular uprising that led to the assassination of Giuseppe Prina the Minister of Finance of the Kingdom of Italy, Palazzo Sannazzari which was also overlooking the square was destroyed , and so the piazza could be expanded until Via Marino. Here was also ‘’Palazzo Imbonati’’, at that time place of the Comedy Theatre, later it became ‘’Teatro Manzoni’’.
Once Via Marino
Here the wedding between Alessandro Manzoni and Enrichetta Blondel took place. The old palace was in fact purchased by the bride's father, Henry. Time after also Massimo d'Azeglio, who had married one of Manzoni’s daughters, stayed in these rooms.
Today the building no longer exists, it was demolished to make place for the Manzoni Theatre, having also hosted the headquarters of the City of Milan Improvements Company LImited, the company responsible for the construction of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, and the simultaneous renovation of the Piazza del Duomo.
Vittorio Emanuele Gallery
Piazza del Duomo
In 1865 works began on the construction of the famous gallery, designed by Architect Giuseppe Mengoni, who lost his life here, after falling from a scaffold. Ironically the works were completed in the same year in ‘’1877’’.
Davide Campari was the first to join the "Parlors’’ of Milan. Here he launched the famous and tasty "bitter for The Netherlands’s use", even if the windows of the bar were constantly broken by numerous fights, precisely 87 times !
Various the vicissitudes of places and cafes that had opened in the gallery. The Savini café and restaurant still exists and you could see famous people like Mascagni, Arrigo Poito, Puccini, Giacosa at its tables earlier in last century.
The Gallery also hosted the first place of ‘’le Corsera’’. In the gallery, depicted on the floor, you can find a bull that is tied to a superstitious ritual: whoever turns the heel of his shoe on it three times, in a clockwise direction will have luck in business ... but not everyone knows that the "ritual" can only be done once a year, and the days before New Year's Day!
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele (Vittorio Emanuele Gallery)
Founded by Paolo Biffi, after his Parisian experience, the place still exists, and is famous for the production of a typical Italian cake a specialty called ‘’Panettone’’ that Italians eat at Christmas times !