The Most Charming Villas on Lake Como to Visit

by 15/02/2021

It is not long before the arrival of spring, the perfect time to visit the beautiful villas on Lake Como and their enchanting gardens in bloom that enhance their charm. These luxurious residences were already highly sought after in the 1700s, when the greatest families in Italy chose them to spend their holiday period there. Today their beauty continues to enchant celebrities such as George Clooney but above all tourists from all over the world who never miss the opportunity to visit them or stay in one of these converted into elegant hotels. Each villa is a little corner of paradise, let's discover the most beautiful ones together!

Villa d’Este in Cernobbio

Villa d’Esteè una delle ville più amate e conosciute che si affacciano sul lago, insieme al bellissimo giardino di origine cinquecentesca. Oggi ospita uno degli hotel 5 stelle più importanti al mondo, anche se in origine era stata adibita a convento femminile nel 1442 fino a quando il Cardinale Tolomeo Gallio la trasformò nella sua residenza personale. Da allora personaggi di rilievo di ogni epoca hanno avuto la fortuna di chiamarla casa ma alla fine dell’ottocento, dopo tre anni di abbandono, venne trasformata in albergo di lusso e prese definitivamente il nome di Villa d’Este. 

What makes it one of the most beautiful villas on Lake Como to visit is undoubtedly the baroque style garden with the famous nymphaeum of the first half of the seventeenth century at the entrance from which the avenue of Hercules begins, where laurel and magnolia trees are born. Here stands a staircase that accompanies a double chain of water up to the statue of Hercules and Lichas, running through all the gardens, where the Concorso d'eleganza Villa d'Este has been held since 1928 in May dedicated to vintage vehicles.

Villa Carlotta and its botanical garden in the town of Tremezzo

Villa Carlotta was built in 1690 by the will of the Marquis Giorgio II Clerici, in fact it is considered one of the oldest villas on the lake. It owes its fame to the vast botanical garden that surrounds it, part of the Grandi Giardini Italiani circuit, which hosts well over five hundred species of plants, including citrus fruits, camellias, azaleas and plants tropical.

It is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating villas on Lake Como to see , together with the priceless art collections brought inside by the art collector and then owner Gian Battista Sommariva, a friend of Napoleon Bonaparte, who, in contact with the best artists of the time, modified the interiors of the villa with several works from his personal collection that attracted the attention of personalities such as Stendhal and Flaubert .

Considered a sober building at the time of its construction, it was enriched by architectural elements such as the monumental staircase and the central arches that give it a touch of imposing elegance.

Villa Bernasconi Museum in Cernobbio: a "house that speaks"

Villa Bernasconi is one of the most important examples of the liberty style in Italy, the only villa in Cernobbio open to the public, it represents a very important part of the history of the place. Built between 1905 and 1906 by the architect Alfredo Campanini for the engineer Davide Bernasconi, it was born as a small textile industry which over the years expands to occupy a large area of the country and on a real industrial citadel known as silk citadel .

Thanks to its Art Nouveau and mysterious style, it is one of the most suggestive Como villas to discover overlooking the shores of the lake. It can be accessed from two different paths, the main one, on the east side, along a staircase that leads to a veranda with polychrome decorations while the secondary one on the south side leads to a loggia and finally to the reception hall.

The building is spread over two floors with various liberty style ornaments but what stands out most is the belvedere tower that watches over the park enriched by wonderful vegetation and decorations that keep the past of the villa alive. with high reliefs depicting the cycle of the silkworm and tiles with mulberry flowers.

Its strong point is undoubtedly the talking museum where the viewer becomes the protagonist who moves freely from room to room guided directly by the voice of the villa who tells the story in the first person its history, its owners and the historical period in which it was built.

Villa Monastero in Varenna

Barely touching the water of the lake, villa Monastero is one of the most enchanting villas to visit near Como thanks to its strategic position that every year makes thousands of tourists dream. Born as a female monastery in the 12th century, at the beginning of the 17th century it was bought by the Mornico family but it was thanks to Walter Kees who between 1897 and 1909 finished the renovations and gave it the eclectic style with which we know it today.

The botanical garden is also extended, today it can be visited in all its colors, shapes and scents which extends for about 2 kilometers, from Varenna to the hamlet of Fiumelatte.

This villa is first of all a house museum that holds four centuries of history, focusing in particular on the nineteenth century, a period in which it was inhabited and frequented by illustrious personalities of the time. In 1953 it was used as a conference center hosting speeches by over thirty-four nobel prizes , including Enrico Fermi , who held some of the lectures here he.

Its exclusive location and its centuries-old beauty make it perfect as a wedding villa on Lake Como , with a magnificent garden in bloom as the backdrop to the most beautiful day of a lifetime.

Villa del Balbianello: the most visited FAI property in Italy

A few meters above the water level, villa del Balbianello rests elegantly, surrounded by green foliage and the tranquility that only the lake can offer. So beautiful that it can be used as a film set for several world famous films, such as Casino Royale or the second episode of the Star Wars saga, which have contributed to increasing his now confirmed fame.

Since its construction in 1700 by the will of Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini, its popularity has been growing more and more, until it conquered the title of one of the Como villas most beautiful to see , which over the centuries has hosted several owners. The last was Count Guido Monzino, entrepreneur, collector and passionate traveler, made the villa the place to keep his most beautiful adventures, such as the one that made him the first Italian to climb Everest .

In 1988 Monzino bequeathed the villa to the Italian Environment Fund, which was awarded four consecutive awards as the FAI property most visited in Italy , inside you can visit the loggia, the library, the Sala dei Primitives, the Shipping Museum and the spectacular park-garden.

Villa Olmo: one of the most important historical parks in Como

To conclude with a flourish, we cannot fail to admire villa Olmo in all its majesty and elegance. The name derives from a magnificent centenary elm that was located where the villa stands today. It was built by the architect Simone Cantoni in neoclassical style on behalf of the Marquis Innocenzo Odescalchi who was in possession of other assets and land in the area, resident in Rome but originally from Como commissioned the villa to spend the summer.

In 1924 it was purchased by the Municipality of Como, which three years later organized the International Exhibition for the hundredth anniversary of the death of the great Alessandro Volta , a native of the place, as well as numerous congresses, shows and art exhibitions . In 1982 it became the seat of the Centro Volta where international events are organized.

Villa Olmo is one of the most beautiful villas to visit in Como above all for the charm of its English garden, considered one of the most important. The reason? It maintains its original size of almost five hectares and includes 780 trees including some declared monumental such as a horse chestnut of 26 meters, a cedar of Lebanon of 22 meters, a sequoia giant and a fascinating red beech.

A fare da custodi al giardino ci pensano una coppia di ippocastani piantati ancora prima che la villa nascesse. A rendere questo parco storico unico nel suo genere è l’irregolarità del terreno e la vegetazione, la presenza del tempietto neoclassico e i larghi viali che si perdono nella natura. 

If you are looking for a hotel to stay with a special history, immersed in the green Como countryside but at the same time comfortable and elegant, the Boutique Hotel Dandelion is the one for you because it offers a unique and special vision of Como, it is committed to selecting materials and technologies with low environmental impact also support local producers and artisans who enhance the territory.


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