Welcome to Casa Manzoni
Casa Manzoni, in Via del Morone 1, has been recently renovated and opened to the public. Currently the headquarters of Centro nazionale di Studi manzoniani, as the name suggests it was once the home of one of Italy’s most famous novelists, Alessandro Manzoni. Manzoni lived, studied, and wrote here from 1814 to his death in 1873, through the happy and sad moments in his life, so sadly full of bereavements.
Writer Giulio Carcano described him at the time of his “creative fifteen” (that is, the prolific years between 1812 and 1827), and precisely at the publication of “Adelchi” in 1822:
“At the time, if you turned from Piazza de’ Belgioioso into Via del Morone, you could come to Manzoni’s house – with its neglected façade from the previous century –, cross the courtyard and front portico, and look for the poet […] You would have seen him in his studio on the ground floor, at the left of the passageway leading to a small garden. That studio – whose walls are still covered by a thousand old and new classics, books by historians and philosophers from every age and every country – and that garden, under the shade of some ancient trees and dotted by a few flowers, were the poet’s refuge since the beginning of the century. That is where his thoughts could run free, always spirited and never tired of life” (translated from G. Carcano, “Vita di Alessandro Manzoni”, Fr.lli Rechiedei, Milan 1873).
Another writer, Piedmontese Vittorio Bersezio (1828-1900), once recounted the time he met Manzoni in Via del Morone, when the author of “The Betrothed” was at the height of his fame:
“The room, not especially wide nor especially tall, was oblong; the door we had come in from was on one of the longer sides, near the corner. On the opposite wall, there was a fireplace in the middle, where a small fire was burning (it was early March). Right in front of the door there was another one, which certainly opened onto the rest of the neighborhood. The walls were covered in books from floor to ceiling […] On the shorter side, at the bottom of the room, there was a wide and tall window […] Near the window there was a desk […] Near the desk, standing with an open book in front of him, there was a tall, slightly hunched man, with a black velvet hat on his head. […] He turned his face and body towards me, quickly took his hat off and threw it on the desk, letting his beautiful forehead show.”
Welcome to Casa Manzoni.