This is the list of the most beautiful and most visited villas on Lake Como. The villas were mostly built by noble families from Lombardy, who wanted to have luxurious summer houses with large gardens near the shore of the lake. Numerous villas are made in Baroque or Neoclassical style, and the artwork and decorations that are hidden inside are truly beautiful. Each villa has rich gardens with plants coming from all over the world.
Villa Carlotta is one of the most beautiful and the most visited villas on Lake Como. Villa dates back to the 17th century when it was constructed in Baroque style by Marchese Giorgio Clerici. Giorgio’s wish was to surround this magnificent villa by an spacious garden in a pure Italian style. As the time was passing by, the villa changed various owners and each one of them contributed in additional decorations of Villa Carlotta. The villa possesses sculptures by a famous artist Antonio Canova and paintings by Francesco Hayez. Gardens cover the total surface of 8ha.
Villa Serbelloni is located near wonderful Bellagio, on Lake Como. It was built in 1850, in pure Neoclassic style, as a luxurious holiday villa for a noble Milanese family. In 1872 it was sold and since then it has become Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni which was inaugurated in 1873. Inside visitors can find frescoes and paintings with mythological scenes, golden panels, ceilings painted with floral motifs, mainly roses, vintage tapestries, ancient Persian rugs, Murano glass and crystals, marble staircases and Neoclassic style furniture.
The history of villa is more than nine centuries long. Originally, the structure was conceived and built as a Cistercian convent for women, in the 12th century. But it changed owners often and the exteriors as well so its purpose changed over time too. Today, this is a public museum, with fascinating 14 rooms that are open to public. Villa Monastero houses incredible collection of works of art, various objects and pieces of furniture. Last but not least, the villa is surrounded by a stunningly beautiful botanical garden that hosts different species from all over the world, both indigenous and exotic ones, thanks to the mild lake climate.
Villa d’Este is considered one of the most beautiful buildings from the architectural point of view. It was built in the 16th century by a famous Italian architect Pellegrino Pellegrini. The Villa’s garden covers the surface of 10ha and visitors, apart from the plants and trees that come from all over the world, may thoroughly enjoy true art masterpieces such as: Nymphaeum made by Pellegrini, Hercules fountain and the Temple of Telemaco. Inside the villa there are numerous master pieces that belonged to the Canova School and decorations made by Andrea Appiani. Gardens of Villa d’Este are considered to be the most beautiful ones built in Baroque style.
Villa Olmo represents one of the main symbols of the city of Como. Villa Olmo was constructed in the 18th century in Neoclassic style by an architect Simone Cantoni. Visitors can see neoclassic motifs especially in the exterior facáde of the villa, where the entrance is presented in the shapes of the five arches intersected with six columns alternating with medallions depicting philosophers. In 1925 the villa ended up in the hands of the municipality of Como, and from then Villa Olmo is the center of culture and artistic events in this city.
Located on the peninsula this elegant Villa Balbianello built in the 18th century hosted numerous writers, artists and visitors from all over the world. The villa was constructed according to the desire of Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini, on the spot where ancient Franciscan convent used to be. After the cardinal’s death Villa Balbianello were passed on into the hands of Count Luigi Porro Lambertenghi. Thanks to Luigi Porro, who was involved in the affairs of Italian unification at the time, the villa became a meeting place for the intellectuals who fought for the unification of Italy. Nowadays, Villa Balbianello represents a true gem, open to public.
Villa Melzi d’Eril
Splendid Villa Melzi d’Eril was built in early the 19th century by Francesco Melzi d'Eril. Francesco was Vice President of the Italian Republic during the Napoleon’s rule in Italy. The villa was constructed in Neoclassic style and it represents a true architectural beauty but what is even more beautiful are the gardens that are extended on 800 meter long coast line. Here visitors may see ancient trees and exotic plants such as cedars of Lebanon, Ginkgo biloba, red beeches and camphor.