Villa Carlotta was built for the Milanese marquis Giorgio Clerici in 1690 and extends over a 70,000 m2 (17 acres) area in Tremezzo, facing the Bellagio peninsula. The Italian garden was built in late Lombard baroque style, with a symmetrical design that still dominates the front area with the Arion of Methymna fountain basin, the terraces with the famous collection of cirtus tress and the stone stairs. The formal layout of the garden was partly redesigned in 1801 adopting the new canons of the English-style garden. The longitudinal avenues were decorated with rhododendrons and azaleas. With the years Villa Carlotta has built up a refined botanical garden including 800 species and varieties, with 1,000 trees, 400 camelias, 250 rhododendrons and 200 roses.
Villa Cipressi Gardens Via IV Novembre 18
23829 Varenna (Lecco)
A wonderful, terraced garden overlooking the center of lake Como and the branch of Lecco.
English style gardens develop harmoniously along the lake's banks, the last offshoot in the hill picture of the peninsula of Bellagio, to the south of the inhabited area. The beautiful garden includes rare exotic plants, secular trees, hedges of camellias, groves of azaleas and gigantic rhododendrons, monuments and artefacts (amongst which a Venetian gondola transported to Bellagio, on express request by Napoleon, and two precious Egyptian statues), a chapel and a glass house in neoclassical style.
The realisation of such a garden implied notable interventions to the structure of the land and the realisation of outstanding supporting walls.
Visits: from March to October, daily from 9.30 to 18.30
Lake Como Gardens (Ornamental Gardens and Parks in the Como area)
Villa Carlotta Via Regine 2
Formal front gardens of Villa Carlotta,
Tremezzo, Lake Como
Photo: Brett Charlton
Gardens of Villa Carlotta,
Tremezzo, Lake Como
Villa Melzi d'Eril Lungolario Manzoni
Villa Melzi d'Eril, Lake Como
Photo: C. Marien
Villa Melzi d'Eril, Bellagio
Photo: C. Marien
Villa d'Este Via Regina 40
New a renowned luxury hotel and congress centre, Villa d'Este was built in the mid 16th century by the humanist, Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio. The garden plan is laid out on a central axis with subsidiary cross-axes of carefully varied character, refreshed by some five hundred jets in fountains, pools and water troughs.
Of great interest is the Nymphaeum decorated with polychrome tesserae (musivum theatrum), which probably existed from the 16th century and was remodelled in the 18th century to spectacular effect.
Visits: group visits only of min. 10 and max. 30 pers. from March to November from 10.30 to 11.30 and 15.30 to 16.30.
Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni Via Roma 1
Built in 1850 as a summer home for an aristocratic family from Bergamo, the villa was made into a hotel in 1873. The landscape park to the northeast of the villa features tall trees, including sweet gum, beech, chestnut, lime, yew, Scots pine, magnolia and camphor. The garden also includes numerous Mediterranean plants and other ornamental plants.
Villa Olmo Via Cantoni
Villa Olmo, Como
The present formal garden was laid out recently, although its geometric rigor and the use of box hedges are reminiscent of the classical Italian garden. According to an undocumented tradition the site may have been that of the villa on the Borgovico side of Como owned by the Roman poet Caninius Rufus, a close friend of Pliny the Younger, whose gardens were famous for their elms. Two Como historians indeed recorded in the 18th and 19th century that two enormous very ancient elms of different species existed there.
Parco Teresio Olivelli Via Regina 1
The Teresio Olivelli municipal park, formerly known as Giardino Meier, is probably one of the best kept secrets among Tremezzo's botonical and architectural gems.
The park includes many significant trees, such as an elegant Pinus devoniana, a large camphor tree, an old Calocedrus decurrens, a path of umbrella-shaped plane trees and numerous Taxodium distichum and uncommon cypresses.
Villa del Balbianello Via Comoedia 5
It is located in the town of Lenno, on Dosso di Lavedo, a small wooded promontory on the western shore of the south-west branch of Lake Como, not far from the Isola Comacina. The owner of the Villa, the Milanese Cardinal Angelo M. Durini, had it built in 1787 on this almost isolated site, once a Franciscan monastery, to receive frivolous personages, but also philosophers and men of letters like Abbot Parini, who dedicated an ode entitled "Gratitude" to him. The villa is famous for its elaborate terraced gardens. For the garden a landscape layout, that was adapted to the natural setting, was adopted. The arboreal heritage is impressive: ilex, plane, magnolia, cypress, pine, beech trees, some of which sculpted in topiary. Wonderful is also the Ficus pumila in the portico beneath which it is said that Durini liked to set and sip his coffee.