Villa Balbianello stands on the cape of the Lavedo peninsula, in the Lenno territory, in one of Lake Como's most enchanting locations. The villa was built by Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini in 1787, atop the remains of an ancient monastery of Franciscan monks. Villa del Balbianello includes two residential buildings, and a church and a portico overlooking the port, where a steep stairway leads directly to the villa.
In 1797, after the Cardinal's death, the villa became the property of Giuseppe Sepolina; in 1800 Luigi Porro, patriot from Milan, purchased the villa and hosted - among many illustrious guests - even Silvio Pellico in 1819. Marquis Giuseppe Arconati Visconti was the next owner, and during that period Villa del Balbianello hosted writers such as Giovanni Berchet, Alessandro Manzoni, Giuseppe Giusti, politicians and artist such as painter Arnold Böcklin.
In 1975, after alternating ups and downs, the villa - with its stupendous gardens - was purchased by Guido Monzino, who - upon his death in 1988 - willed it to the Fondo per l'Ambiente Italiano - Italian Environment Fund (F.A.I.) as well as a donation of 2 billion for future operations and maintenance. More than 4,000 volumes collected by Guido Monzino are conserved Villa Balbianello library. They constitute one of the most precious collections dedicated to climbing and polar expeditions.
The main building holds English and French furnishings from the 1600 and 1700, Fiammingo tapestries, Chinese earthenware, and a collection of glass paintings and Lario landscapes. Numerous laurel and boxwood hedges can be seen in the garden of Villa Balbianello; the rocky structure of the peninsula where the villa stands, has rendered the creation of a true Italian garden impossible. In the park and terraces, we find specimens of oaks, camphor laurels, magnolias and cypresses in addition to azaleas and rhododendrons.
For more information, visits and reservations: VILLA DEL BALBIANELLO, Via Guido Monzino, 1 - Lenno (Como) Tel. 0344 56110 - Fax 0344 55575. Open daily except non-holiday Mondays and Wednesdays. From March 14-November 14.
The most famous of Tremezzo's villas is Villa Carlotta, open to the public, surrounded by a wonderful Italian garden with a graceful fountain in front of the villa's entrance, box tree hedges, exotic and rare plants.Tremezzo
Various theme cruises are organized by the Lake Navigation Management, besides the normal lake navigation service, in July and August, it is possible to take a cruise on the Concordia with restaurant service.Navigation
We recommend a visit to the Island on the day of the Sagra dei Lumaghitt, which celebrates St.Giovanni on June 24th with grand illuminations on Lake Como and the mass celebrated on the ruins of the St.Eufemia basilica.Comacina Island