The composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) was born and raised about a hundred kilometers southeast of Milan near the town of Busseto, in the province of Parma, but Milan was an important city for him throughout his life.
Five of his early operas had their world premieres at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, as did five of his later ones. In the middle of his career he took his operas elsewhere (Venice, Naples, Florence, London, Trieste, Rome, Paris, St. Petersburg, Cairo) for their world premieres, because he was unhappy with the hasty and slipshod staging that La Scala was notorious for at the time.
His publisher Ricordi was based in Milan.
This statue of Verdi is in the middle of a large square — actually more of a circle — called Piazza Michelangelo Buonarroti. (Named after the painter, sculptor, poet and architect who is often just referred to as Michelangelo.)
Towards the end of his life Verdi founded (and funded) the Casa di Riposo per Musicisti Giuseppe Verdi, known in Milan as Casa Verdi for short, a special retirement home for needy musicians and singers.
Verdi himself had made a huge fortune through his operas, but he was very conscious of the fact that not all of his colleagues had been so fortunate. He not only funded the construction of the building, but also set up a foundation to pay the running expenses.
In 1901 Verdi died in Milan, and this is where he was buried, in the Casa Verdi, along with his second wife Giuseppina Verdi Strepponi.
My photos in this post are from 2008. I revised the text in 2018.
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