Alessandro Manzoni in Milan
  • Europe /
  • Italy /
  • Milan

An itinerary entirely dedicated to Manzoni and to his masterpiece: "I Promessi Sposi" (The Betrothed).

House of Manzoni
House of Manzoni (by WillyCortez, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
Painting of Alessandro Manzoni by Francesco Hayez
Detail of the interior ceiling (Alberto albertini, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
Frontispiece of the second edition of Alessandro Manzoni's The Betrothed (1840) (Francesco Gonin, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

House of Manzoni (by WillyCortez, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

We then arrive at Alessandro Manzoni’s house, the last of the three residences he lived in during his life. 

Today it has become a museum where it is possible to find everything about his story, both as a person and author. Apart from family memorabilia, works of art, and the artist’s personal effects, one can visit the rooms where he lived, worked and studied. Among them are his studio and spaces where he entertained various prominent personalities and intellectuals of the time.

Manzoni was born in Milan on 7 March 1785 from noble roots. In fact, his mother belonged to a patrician family from Pavia, the famous ‘Beccaria’, while his father was a descendant of a noble family from the surroundings of Lecco. He grew up on a family estate but soon spent most of his childhood at religious boarding schools following his parents’ separation. In fact, the marriage between Giulia Beccaria, Alessandro’s mother, and the much older gentleman Pietro Manzoni was unhappy from the start. Moreover, there are rumours that Alessandro’s legitimate father was not his natural father. According to the sayings of the time, the other man in question was Giovanni Verri, with whom Giulia was fascinated from the tender age of seventeen. However, this love affair apparently ended very soon. 


Meanwhile, the young Alessandro received a strict religious education but soon discovered a real passion for literature that he would carry with him all his life. Specifically, his poetic vein is influenced by his mentors, Dante, Virgil and Horace, who urge him to further his creativity and passion.

At the age of twenty, Manzoni reconnected with his mother in Paris, where, since her separation from Alessandro’s legitimate father, she lived with another man, Carlo Imbonati. This episode is essential in the author’s life, as it almost represents a rediscovered love between mother and son, which will endure throughout his life. 

The young Alessandro was also confronted with new ideals in France by attending the so-called French ‘ideloguès’. Here, he dealt with themes of human spirituality and profound concepts that arose from the French Revolution and the Enlightenment movement.

He later fell in love with a certain Enrichetta Blondel, whom he met through contacts in Paris with his mother, Giulia. It was a love that turned out to be happy and faithful from the beginning. 


The marriage with Enrichetta, for Manzoni, represented a turning point in his spiritual conception, creating religious thinking and bringing few complications on family views due to political reasons. In the meantime, Giulia became pregnant, and the family moved permanently to Milan, wherein in 1813 bought the house in Via Gerolamo Morone, which we can admire today. 

Here, the writer is inspired by his writing’s vein and among other masterpieces, he conceived part of ‘I Promessi Sposi’.

This house is an exciting destination for getting to know Manzoni’s character better and identifying with his life in 19th-century Milan. Thus, having the chance to get closer to his private daily life.


1. Lazzaretto

2. Church of San Gregorio

3. Church of San Carlo

4. The riot

5. House of Manzoni

6. Church of San Fedele

7. Monumentale Cemetery