Villa del Balbianello
Villa del Balbianello is probably the most beautiful and most famous villa of Lake Como, with its privileged location right on the tip of the Lavedo Peninsula (also known as the “Penisola del Balbianello”).
This Villa is composed by a structure of two splendid buildings, of which it is possible to visit the finely furnished rooms, surrounded by a magnificent garden that continues on large terraces directly on the lake, built to have a 270° view of the surrounding landscape.
History of Villa del Balbianello:
Since the 13th century, on the Lavedo peninsula there was a monastery of Franciscan friars. Its property was taken over by Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini in 1785. Two years later, he began the conversion of the monastery into the Villa we know. The Villa has been the scene of many important events in the history of Italy. It was also the abode of many important politicians, art and literature characters, including Silvio Pellico, Giovanni Berchet, Giuseppe Giusti, Arnold Böcklin, Luchino Visconti and Alessandro Manzoni: the first Italian novelist who changed the history of Italian literature.
Later, the Villa was sold to Guido Monzino, the first Italian to climb Mount Everest, which decorated the interiors with antique furniture and many rare artifacts obtained in his expeditions. In 1978, Monzino also built a system of secret passages inside the Villa.
Finally, the Villa became property of the Italian Environment Fund (FAI) and is now the most visited Villa in Italy.
A perfect location:
The villa was the set of many famous films, including “A month to the Lake” and “James Bond: Casino Royale”. George Lucas decided to set “Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones”, too. Indeed, the marriage between Anakin Skywalker and Princess Padmé Amidala is set in the Villa.
To visit Villa del Balbianello, you have to take the ferry to Lenno; then you can reach the Villa in just about 15 minutes walking, or with a taxi boat.
Check out the best places to stay in Lake Como to visit the Villa.
On this page you can find opening times and other useful information such as events at the Villa, special openings and much more!