On 16 December 1899, in a house in Via Manzoni 29 in Milan, Giuseppe Verdi instituted the Rest Home for Musicians - Giuseppe Verdi Foundation (Casa di Riposo per Musicisti - Fondazione Giuseppe Verdi), "in which people of either sex who worked for the Art of Music, who are Italian citizens and who find themselves in a state of poverty will be accommodated and maintained."
Unique in the world, the Casa di Riposo is considered the final masterpiece of the Master from Busseto, who dedicated the last two years of his life to this project, before his death in 1901 in his 88th year.
"Among my works, the one I like best is the Home that I have had built in Milan for accommodating old singers not favored by fortune, or who, when they were young, did not possess the virtue of saving. The poor, dear companions of my lifetime! Believe me, my friend, that Home is truly my most beautiful work." Thus wrote Giuseppe Verdi in a letter to his friend Giulio Monteverde.
At Verdi's explicit request, the Home was opened after his death, because he did not wish to be thanked by those who would benefit from his generosity.
The first nine Guests entered on 10 October 1902, the Master's birthday.
In accordance with its statute, the Home is open to "less fortunate musicians, those who were dedicated to the Art of Music as a profession", and, so far, more than a thousand people have lived there: singers, conductors, chorus members, orchestra players, teachers, and dancers.
In 1998, with the intention of mixing musicians of different generations, the Foundation proceeded to change its aims: in addition to hosting older musicians (which, in any case, remains the Society's primary objective), the Home has been hosting young, deserving, needy music students who are enrolled at music schools recognized in Milan.
In his will, Verdi bequeathed capital and author's royalties towards the upkeep of the institution. Nevertheless, the Rest Home carries out its institutional activities thanks above all to the generosity of numerous benefactors and to considerable holdings in real estate and of other types.
On 22 June 2007, the Giuseppe Verdi Foundation created the Musicians' Home Foundation (Fondazione Casa dei Musicisti). This not-for-profit Foundation has the sole goal of hosting musicians in keeping with the rules and regulations of the Giuseppe Verdi Foundation.
Thus, effective 1 January 2008, the Giuseppe Verdi Foundation conferred its social/charitable activities on the Musicians' Home Foundation, which thereby replaced it with respect to contractual relations and to regulations regarding its social/charitable activities; the new Foundation was, in addition, assigned a titolo di comodato for the building itself, located in Piazza Buonarroti 29, Milan, including the furnishings, vehicles, and equipment required for its social/charitable activities, but not including the parts of the building that are open to the public as monuments.