VILLA MONASTERO
Varenna, Lake Como

Villa Monastero rests in Varenna, on the eastern shore of Lake Como. It is one of the most interesting examples of Eclecticism around Lake Como.

The decorative and functional elements, added during the renovations of 19th and 20th centuries, didn’t change substantially the previous look of the building, resulting in a really great-looking villa.

Something that you really don’t want to miss during your trip to Varenna or Lake Como!

Villa Monastero, Varenna, Lake Como (Italy)
The amazing gardens of Villa Monastero (picture: gardendestinations.com)

Discover Villa Monastero

In a nutshell
Key features
of Villa Monastero
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Opening times
entry prices, and more
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How to get
to Villa Monastero
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History
of Villa Monastero
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In a nutshell

KEY FEATURES of Villa Monastero

Villa Monastero is an amazing complex that includes a wide botanical garden, which is arranged in terraces and collects many rare plant species.

The mild climate, favored by the lake, allows numerous botanic species from all over the world to grow. This is the reason why, in almost every season of the year, the Villa Monastero gardens give you the chance to enjoy a variety of colors and scents.

Villa Monastero is currently highly regarded as an international conference center. Famous institutions, universities and companies frequently hold conventions, training courses and workshops in the wonderful settings of the villa.

Gardens of Villa Monastero, Varenna
Spring in the gardens of Villa Monastero
Villa Monastero, Varenna, Lake Como (Italy)
A view of the lake from the Villa

The building features several rooms, the most outstanding of which is the Fermi Hall, where, in 1954, Nobel Prize winner Enrico Fermi held many physics classes.

Additionally, visitors will have the chance to see Casa Museo, a museum that collects four centuries of history within the elegant setting of the villa.

Villa Monastero, Varenna, Lake Como (Italy)
Interiors of the Villa (picture: italywhere.com)

The 14 rooms of Casa Museo are completely furnished, and will give you the opportunity to go back to the past through various styles, precious materials and luxurious decorations.

OPENING TIMES, ENTRY PRICES & more

The botanical gardens are open all days from March to the end of October, whereas the museum is open on specific days only (please check on the official website).

Opening times: 9:30am - 8pm in high season, 10am - 5 pm in low season.

€10.40 for full entry ticket, €8.50 for gardens only; free for children under 11 (more on the website).

Address: Via Polvani 4, Varenna
Phone: +39 0341 295 450
E-mail: villa.monastero@provincia.lecco.it

HOW TO GET to Villa Monastero

Thanks to Navigazione Laghi you can get to Varenna by ferry: the town is perfectly connected to the other towns of the lake.

Varenna also has a railway station, Varenna-Esino, which makes it easy to connect the city with Milan and other Lombard cities. The Varenna-Esino railway station offers both Trenitalia and Trenord services. You can check the timetables here.

Gardens of Villa Monastero, Varenna
Spring in the gardens of Villa Monastero
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HISTORY of Villa Monastero

Villa Monastero was initially a Cistercian nunnery dedicated to the Holy Virgin, and was built at the end of the 12th century in connection with the nunnery of Lenno, on the opposite side of Lake Como.

In the mid 16th century, the Mornico family bought the property and made some renovations to the building, that remained in their ownership for over three centuries and was known as “Villa Leliana”.

In 1862, the villa was acquired by Pietro Genazzini from Bellagio, an engineer who carried out some further renovations.

Interiors of Villa Monastero, Varenna, Italy
Interiors of Villa Monastero

In 1869, Villa Monastero became property of Carolina Maumari, a famous noblewoman from Milan. During those years, many prominent personalities from cultural world used to hang out at the villa.

Later, the complex passed through several foreign owners, who embellished it with some elements of Nordic taste.

In 1918, the villa was acquired by the Italian government as war debt, until, in 1939, became a public property and also a museum. Since then, the villa is a reference point for conferences and events on Lake Como.

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