Villa del Balbianello will leave you breathless, due to its beautiful terraced gardens and picturesque structure.
The villa is now home to private events such as weddings, ceremonies and even film or photographic sets.
You cannot, therefore, sleep at the villa, but if you’re looking for an accommodation in the surroundings… take a look at the best places to sleep near the villa!
Discover Villa Balbianello
The whole complex consists of two residential buildings, a church, and a portico that overlooks a little dock. The main building of Villa Balbianello hosts some English and French furnishings, which date back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
The interiors are embellished by many glass paintings and a rich collection of ethnic sculptures and artifacts.
The upper floor of Villa Balbianello is dedicated to Guido Monzini, former owner of the villa and leader of the first Italian expedition to Mount Everest.
There you will see a lot of pictures, flags, and honors belonging to the famous Italian explorer, in addition to one of the eight sleighs he used to reach the North Pole.
Can I visit the villa?
Yes, both gardens and villa
From mid-March to mid-November, 11am – 6pm. Closed on Mondays and Wednesdays (except on holidays)
60 minute guided tours for groups of up to 15 people are available by reservation. Cost: €60 per group + ticket price
Via Comoedia 5, Tremezzina CO
The unique location of Villa Balbianello allows visitors to get there only by foot (walking on a 1 km footpath which starts from Via degli Artigiani) or by a taxiboat that leaves from the Lenno beach (€7.5 for the roundtrip).
Villa del Balbianello was built at the end of the 18th century by Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini, on the site of an ancient Franciscan monastery.
In the 19th century, after the cardinal’s death, the villa became property of Count Luigi Porro Lambertenghi, his grandson.
Afterward, Villa Balbianello was purchased by Marquis Giuseppe Arconati Visconti, who hosted some great intellectuals such as Alessandro Manzoni, Giovanni Berchet, and Giuseppe Giusti.
Gianmartino Arconati Visconti, Giuseppe’s son, made some improvements to the villa’s gardens and loggia, but the decline of the noble family eventually led to a state of neglect.
In 1919, Villa del Balbianello was purchased by Butler Ames, an American soldier and businessman, who restored the villa to its original splendor.
Later, in 1974, his heirs gave it to the famous entrepreneur and explorer Guido Monzino.
He embellished the villa with a rich collection of artifacts that he acquired during his expeditions.
In 1988, Monzino died without issue and donated Villa del Balbianello to FAI (Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano).
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