A refined heritage
The glittering history of Excelsior Hotel Gallia dates back to 1932
Excelsior Hotel Gallia as the hotel is now known, has always been one of the most prestigious hotels in Italy, ever since its official opening on 29th February 1932. An architectural jewel of belle époque sophistication, it has been the hotel of choice in Milan for Italy's refined social elite since the very beginning. Today, that evocative legacy continues to inspire every detail.
From its enchanting dome and illuminated Liberty façade to the hotel’s sleek new wing designed by Milan’s celebrated Marco Piva, Excelsior Hotel Gallia is a creative celebration of historic panache and contemporary modernism. Scroll down to explore more about the intriguing history of this glittering hotel.
The Hotel Construction
The construction of the hotel, which was designed and built by Giuseppe Laveni and Aldo Avati, was finished in 1927, when, instead of the present day Piazza Duca d'Aosta, today headquarters to the Central Station, there was simply countryside and the outskirts of Milan.
Both the hotel and the Central Station should have been inaugurated simultaneously, however delays with the monumental construction of the railway made the hotel open its doors well before. As a result, this luxurious hotel with its elegant Liberty-style facade - today still under the protection of the Italian Institute of Fine Arts - stood out in all its majestic splendour.
Touring Club Italiano
The designers of the hotel wrote favourably about the hotel in the Touring Club Italiano publication in 1932. This publication was the main Italian national tourist publication and was founded in 1894 with a mission to offer members a chance to explore and learn about Italy. Extract:
"Favoured by so many...and so advantageously located as to ensure that its guests could be peaceful while still having easy access to the life of the city, the hotel is as comfortable and convenient for travellers as it is for tourists and businessmen, or people who want to have a long stay in order to take advantage of all of the attractions that Milan has always offered".
The Gallia Family
The owner of the hotel, Carlo Gallia, took lavish care over all the aspects of the business because he wanted to equal the best hotels in Europe. The Duke of Bergamo called the hotel 'truly regal' and it immediately became the most prestigious location in Milan.
Carlo Gallia, at the age of only 17, left the Gallia family to learn 'the art of the guest' and remained abroad for the next 15 years. He worked in several different European countries alternating tourist resorts and cities (London, Paris, Berlin, Lucerne, Monte Carlo, St. Moritz). Once affirmed in his profession, he then founded Excelsior Hotel Gallia.