In May 1898, when serious riots broke out in Milan, the Italian government under Antonio di Rudinì declared a state of siege and General Bava-Beccaris, as extraordinary commissar of the city, ordered his soldiers to fire cannons and muskets against the unarmed crowd, who had erected several barricades during a strike, killing more than 200. In recognition of this deed, he received the Great Cross of the Order of Savoy from King Humbert I in June 1898. He was shortly afterwards appointed to the Italian Senate. During 1914, he warmly supported the interventionist party in Italy who wished to participate in World War I, (as they did on May 25, 1915). In 1922, he recommended King Victor Emmanuel III grant power to Benito Mussolini and the National Fascist Party.
Bava-Beccaris retired in 1902. He died in Rome in 1924.