Grand Hotel et de Milan: Verdi’s Old Quarters on the Edge of the Quadrilatero

| Tue, 01/30/2024 - 07:30
Gerry’s Bar at the Grand Hotel et de Milan
Gerry’s Bar at the Grand Hotel et de Milan

Ed.: The Inspired Stays series highlights hotels we love around Italy. Each property is independently reviewed by an Italy Magazine writer, who is generally hosted on a complimentary basis. Our contributors do not accept compensation or gifts in exchange for specific types of coverage. We only showcase properties we would genuinely recommend overall.

Why we love it 

With a lavish old townhouse feel just a five-minute walk from Teatro alla Scala, the Grand Hotel et de Milan has opera ties and old-world glamour that combine for an experience unrepeatable in any other city.

What to expect

The hotel’s affectionate nickname of “the Milan,” assigned to it by guests who span the showbiz to finance to fashion to literary worlds, reflects its deep grounding in the traditions of its home city. Founded in 1863, it was the first hotel in Milan with postal services, earning it an early seal of approval from business travelers that’s never subsided; opera-goers rendezvoused in the lobby for after-show drinks (and still do); and not one of the 72 rooms and 23 suites is exactly like another.


Plenty of hotels love to trot out trophy guests who crashed there once or twice, but as the “living room” of many La Scala giants, the Grand Hotel et de Milan has earned its bragging rights. Maria Callas and Enrico Caruso were frequent guests; most famously, however, Giuseppe Verdi lived here part-time for almost 30 years. Verdi’s personal desk (where he worked on Falstaff and Otello) and other furnishings all remain in the Verdi suite; serious fans can book a stay there as a bona-fide bucket list item (with a price tag to match).

Location, location, location 

Caruso Nuovo
The hotel and its eateries are in the heart of central Milan / Photo: Andrea Ferrari

The hotel is on Via Manzoni, one of the four streets that delineate the world-famous Quadrilatero fashion district — real dapper Daniele territory. The neighborhood’s main shopping drag, Via Montenapoleone, is around the corner. But “the Milan” is also well-connected to the rest of the city, with the Montenapoleone M3 metro stop at its doorstep.

Where you’ll sleep

Typical view from the Grand Hotel et de Milan
View of San Francesco di Paola on Via Manzoni

I stayed in the airy Enrico Caruso junior suite, with floor-to-ceiling French windows and street views onto Via Croce Rossa and Via Manzoni (including the Baroque church of San Francesco di Paola). The room — which the hotel says once functioned as a recording studio for Caruso and Fred Gaisberg, who first captured the tenor’s voice on vinyl — had an ample entryway, a sofa, desk, espresso maker and tea bags from La Via del Tè in Florence. Colorfully packaged Etro toiletries were a nice touch, and the bathroom’s dramatic double vanity felt designed for an opera diva.

Dining & drinks

Caruso Nuovo
Caruso Nuovo Bistrot, open for lunch and dinner / Photo: Andrea Ferrari

The breezy Caruso Nuovo Bistrot is Milan at its best: lively and cosmopolitan but without any stuffiness. Thank Dimorestudio, who recently revamped the interiors, and the Campanian chefs Gennaro Esposito and Francesco Potenza, who add some southern Italian warmth (especially to the dessert menu, which includes some of the best babà napoletano to be found north of Naples). Ristorante Don Carlos, which I didn’t try during my stay, is the higher-end, dinner-only counterpart, focusing on Milanese classics and proudly displaying much La Scala memorabilia. Gerry’s Bar draws hotel guests and local drop-in drinkers, and parts of it serve as spillover territory during breakfast hours.

Service notes 

Run by the Bertazzoni family for three generations now, the Grand Hotel et de Milan is committed to old-fashioned, white-glove hospitality, and the team was firing on all cylinders during my stay.

Spa time

There’s no spa, but the hotel can offer in-room treatments upon request. As for other wellness fixes, the second-floor gym has mood-lifting natural light and pleasant courtyard views — it’s the rare fitness room that actually motivates you to stick to your exercise routine while on vacation. 

You should know...

verdi suite
Inside the Verdi suite

The hotel concierge has conventions with La Scala; ask if there are reserved seats or special reductions available during your stay. Generous staff members are usually willing to accompany Verdi diehards up to the maestro’s suite if they can't swing staying there, but you may have to be persistent in asking, since it’s often in use.


  • The hotel has an elevator. 

Features & amenities

  • City setting
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Free WiFi
  • Valet parking 
  • Fitness room
  • Small pets allowed


Grand Hotel et de Milan
Via Manzoni 29, Milan
Tel. +39 02723141