The head offices of the Corriere della Sera are one of the symbolic locations of the city. The building on Via Solferino in which the newspaper is published has an Art Nouveau façade that expresses an austere and elegant image, embodying the publication’s authoritative character. As regards the architecture, the imposing front façade has a series of flat arches, pilasters (of a solely decorative function), and laurel decorations.
The earliest premises of the newspaper, founded by Eugenio Torelli Viollier and that was first published on 5th March 1876 in three thousand copies, were two rooms on the mezzanine floor of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The paper remained there until 1888, when it moved to Via San Pietro all’Orto and to Via Verri 14, and more precisely to the home of Benigno Crespi, who at that time was the newspaper’s largest shareholder.
Only in 1904 did the Corriere della Sera move to new premises in Via Solferino 28, consisting of a building that had been designed by Luca Repossi and Luca Beltrami (1854-1933), the architect who was responsible for restoring Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castle). Beltrami was, for a short time, editor and co-owner of the newspaper (1896). The Art Nouveau building became the focus for the publishing sector in the city, and there were soon a number of publishers working in other buildings on Via Solferino, and in the nearby Via Moscova and Porta Nuova.
Initially the building had two floors; additional floors were added by Alberto Rosselli, between 1960 and 1965. Recently the building has been refurbished by architect Vittorio Gregotti, who reviewed its functional aspects, bringing it closer to the modern requirements of a dynamic publication close to life in the city. The architect preserved Beltrami’s original section of the building, and he renovated the other sections, removing the ancillary structures that had gradually accumulated in the inner courtyards over the years.
The newspaper’s premises are in a distinctive part of the city, popular with people intent on enjoying the unique atmosphere of the Brera-Corso Garibaldi district. There are many bars, pubs, sushi bars, restaurants, shops and sophisticated stores. By day, the area is populated by bankers, employees, theatre actors and actresses, and professors and students at the Fine Arts Academy. From the evening on, the area is pulsating with young people, professionals and managers in search of relaxation. And of course, given the presence of the Corriere della Sera, you often see journalists, editors and commentators.
Anecdotes and curiosities
The events that have occurred over the history of the newspaper published in Via Solferino reflect the history of Italian journalism as a whole. The journalists, reporters and writers who have worked at the Corriere include some of the most significant personalities in Italian culture, right from Eugenio Torelli Viollier, who founded the publication and was its first editor, until 1898. It is curious to think how the leading national newspaper, and one of the bourgeois symbols of Milan, was founded by a genuine Neapolitan, a member of an illustrious family of jurists.
Editorial meetings are held in the attractive Albertini Hall. During the renovation work supervised by Gregotti, other halls were added, the Buzzati hall for public meetings, and the Montanelli hall for internal editorial and production meetings.
During the period in which Luigi Albertini was editor, the Corriere della Sera reached the record circulation of 800,000 copies. Some of the many personalities who have worked for the publication include Luigi Barzini, Giovanni Mosca, Orio Vergani, Indro Montanelli, Eugenio Montale, Giovanni Spadolini, Egisto Corradi and Ettore Mo.
Other famous writers also contributed to the paper, such as Giosuè Carducci, Ada Negri, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Luigi Pirandello, Grazia Deledda and Luigi Capuana. Dino Buzzati, journalist and writer, recorded his entrance into the newspaper building: «Today I started at the Corriere. When will I leave?» He started work at the paper on 10 July 1928, and worked there first as a reporter, then as a sub-editor, special reporter, and art critic, right up until the day he died, on 28 January 1972. It was his life of routine that inspired him to write “Il deserto dei tartari,” (Desert of the Tartars), one of his most acclaimed works.
Not to lost
The closest Metro station is Moscova on line 2. A brief walk along Via Moscova brings you to Via Solferino, and the façade of the Corriere della Sera is on the left. In addition, bus number 43 stops just a few steps from the entrance.