Planning to visit Ville del Balbianello in Italy and wondering what to expect? Do you wish to know how to travel to Villa del Balbianello and if it’s worth the hassle? Find out what to expect from this spot and make the most of your experience here!
The Villa del Balbianello is a villa in the comune of Lenno (province of Como), Italy, overlooking Lake Como. It is located on the tip of the small, wooded peninsula of Dosso d’Avedo on the western shore of the southwest branch of Lake Como, not far from the Isola Comacina, and it is famous for its elaborate terrace gardens.
The villa stands out with its architecture, proximity to the Alps, and a view where light dances with water, but mostly with a garden that exhibits a slightly different beauty than the typical Italian gardens.
Balbianello is one of the most visited places in the region on account of its magnificent location, romantic architecture and lush gardens. Contrary to other properties around the lake, which were built by noblemen in the 13th century, it was built as a monastery and was converted to a residence in the 19th century.
It has since been used as a film set in movies such as Star Wars II and Casino Royale, but it is also one of the world’s most sought-after wedding venues as well as a museum waiting to fascinate its visitors with its jewelled gardens.
The History of Villa del Balbianello
This villa is situated at the end of the Lavedo promontory. It was built in 1787 for Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini, who set out to create the most beautiful garden on the Tremezzo Riviera. In the 19th century it became the summer home of Costanza Arconati Visconti, who played host to Alessandro Manzoni, Giusti, and Berchet. In 1976 the property was bought by the famous explorer Count Guido Monzino who dedicated much effort to restoring the house and its grounds. But because there were no legal heirs, the villa was donated to a National Foundation after Monzino’s death. The villa now belongs to FAI, the Italian equivalent of the National Trust (a fund for the Preservation of the Environment), which maintains it in all splendour.
Villa del Balbianello Tour
You can visit the beautiful garden of the Villa; the inside is accessible only if you are accompanied by a guide. Some of the most unique characteristics of this incredible Villa are the creepers that covers this majestic building and its incredible architecture, the huge sycamore trees and the walls. From the terrace you can admire a breath-taking view of the Lake.
Going higher you can reach La Loggia, a rectangular building with only two rooms, the library, and the cartographers hall, connected by a graceful porch with two balconies facing east and west. It offers an interesting collection of documents about history, polar explorations, and mountaineering.
The main body of the villa is made up of a massive three floors building and there is a lower wing facing toward the lake, which includes the ancient church with two bell towers on the facade.
The rooms still have the arrangement of the furniture made by Guido Monzino and the villa preserves art collections collected by him, the library, several items related to his travels to the North Pole and to the Everest and numerous prints of the lake.
The place is partly pet friendly. Dogs are welcome in all FAI properties.
How to Reach Villa Balbianello
It is not possible to reach the Villa Balbianello directly by car, bus or public transport services.
Villa del Balbianello is within walking distance (approximately 1 km) of Lenno, with an uphill stretch. It is a 25 minutes’ walk.
It is possible to reach the Villa by waterway, using the taxi-boat service provided on the Lido of Lenno.
Coach SPT C10 operates a regular service between Como and Lenno. Once arrived in Lenno, you can continue on foot or by taxi-boat.
You can also reach the villa via Como Lago Railway Station. The service is operated by Trenord, for further information on the timetables see their website.
Visitors with Disabilities
Visitors with disabilities have free access to FAI property open to the public by presenting their ANMIC – National Association for the Mutilated and Disabled.
The villa is partially accessible for specially-abled people.
The estate requires intensive care to maintain its magnificence. Most of the trees here get their final looks by pruning. Two gardeners who have been caring for the garden for the past 30 years complete the trimming and pruning work in four months. Most of the work done on these trees requires meticulous care and the use of scissors rather than pruning equipment, gives an idea about the attention that goes into the work.
So be it as a weekend getaway or a trip to Italy or even as a wedding destination, this place is a must-visit!