Villa Balbianello, Lake Como
Villa Balbianello, a delightful Villa high above Lake Como
Perched on the highest point of the peninsula of Lavedo, it offers extraordinary veiws of the lake from two angles. It is characterized by two enclosed structures placed on either side of the building. The library and the music room (now known as the map room). The library contains more than 4,000 volumes mostly geography and travel, that Monzino carefully collected over the years. Today, it it is one of the most complete and valuable collections of books devoted to alpine and polar exploration. An extensive collection of maps of all descriptions.
This is a little history of the Villa. It was the set for the American Films Casino Royale & Star Wars and is a favored location for weddings. It is simply romantic and the perfect way to indulge in the beauty of Lake Como. You can arrive by boat or driving directly to a winding uphill stone pathway. Not recommended for those needing assistance walking independently. However I would consult about a small golf cart shuttle, which I saw when I was there. I would recommend taking the boat instead, but it is still an uphill walk to the top and can be quite strenuous for individuals not able to walk up long paths. My mother visit with me she was 76 and had not problems.
At the end of the 18th century, the main access route to the Villa was a steep staircase leading up from the lake. Guests were welcomed by a motto engraved into the floor of the portico that looks out over the marina: “Fay ce que voudras” (“Do what you want”), a perfect description of the spirit of this “place of delights”, on which Cardinal Durini started work in 1787, where one could study and discuss literature and the arts. The splendid Villa del Balbianello rises up on a breathtaking sheer promontory above Lake Como. The loggia affords a beautiful view of the majestic lake: on the one side, you can see the Tremezzina area, which opens out onto the heart of the lake, whereas on the other you can gaze at Comacina Island. It is said that it was in the rooms located on the two sides of the gallery (the Library and the Music Room, now used as the Map Room) that Giuseppe Parini composed his ode “La Gratitudine”, which he dedicated to Cardinal Durini.
A prominent Milanese businessman Guido Monzino and fervent collector and dedicated explorer purchased the Villa in 1919, he died in 1988. He willed the Villa to a trust that today still many can enjoy the gardens, there are also weddings here. These fees help with the maintenance of the property.
The interior of the Villa, extends over several levels and is decorated extremely harmoniously with English and French furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries, precious tapestries, orental carpets and Italian lamps and chandeliers. In some of the rooms, Mozino also installed display cases, in which he personally arranged rare and ancient objects from lost African civilizations.