Logo

The Most Beautiful Villas of Lake Como

FORTLOC Staff 01/05/2024
  • facebook
  • linkedin
  • twitter
  • email
Villa del Balbianello

Image: Villa del Balbianello Credit: Aerial-motion

One of the best ways to enjoy Lake Como in its glory is to stay at one of the few enchanting villas that have been converted into hotels. This allows you to enjoy a full view of the clear waters and picture-perfect mountain panoramas for as long as you wish.

While you're here, you should take advantage of one of many private boat tours to get the full Lake Como experience. Most tours offer stopovers at some of these top villas.

Villa del Balbianello

Villa del Balbianello

Image: Villa del Balbianello Credit: Aerial-motion

Villa del Balbianello preserves some memories of his adventures, such as being the first to lead an Italian expedition to climb Mount Everest. The villa displays some of his prized possessions, including maps, travel books, furniture items, and a peculiar collection of ancient art objects.

Famous for featuring in the James Bond movie Casino Royal and hosting a wedding in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, the villa is currently a popular venue for high-profile weddings.

Located just 38 km from Como, Villa del Balbianello is easy to reach by car or even via taxi boat from Lido di Lenno. If you're driving, you should note that you must park a short distance from the villa. Free parking is available on Via Comoedia, a 20-minute walk from the villa.

Villa d'Este

Villa d'Este

Image: Villa d'Este Credit: essevu

The villa has lush gardens overlooking Lake Como, offering beautiful panoramic views as the backdrop to such an opulent location. The villa itself exudes an air of sophistication with carefully managed gardens, glistening water fountains, and storied statues. It's also fully equipped with amenities such as culinary experiences, sports and wellness centers, and even shopping opportunities.

The villa is also a popular event venue, with one of the most famous events hosted there being the annual Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, a motor show for classic cars that draws a high-profile crowd from high-end car manufacturers to collectors from different parts of the world. This event is an excellent opportunity to explore the grounds of the villa since it isn't open for public tours.

Villa d'Este is easy to reach via car, taxi, or train. For a more luxurious entry, the villa has a small helipad for helicopter landing and a pier for private boats.

Villa Monastero

 Villa Monastero

Image: Villa Monastero Credit:Audrius Venclova

One of the most impressive features of Villa Monastero is the vast botanical garden, arranged in multiple terraces with some of the most rare plant species not just in the region but the entire world. Villa Monastero allows all visitors to enjoy a wide variety of colors and scents unique to the region. If you need a break during your tour, stop by the cafeteria to enjoy snacks and drinks while you soak in the fantastic views.

A large part of the interior of Villa Monastero is occupied by a museum called the House Museum. Here, you'll be greeted with an entire spectrum of architectural design evolutions, from early medieval periods to neo-classical elements. The period furniture, exquisite art, and intricately detailed elements will transport you to the past for an unforgettable experience.

Villa Monastero is just a short 10-minute walk from the nearest pier, making it possible to travel here by private boat. The local commune, Varenna, also has a railway station, meaning it's connected to major cities like Milan.

Villa Carlotta

Villa Carlotta

Image: Villa Carlotta Credit: Sina Ettmer Photography

A major theme of Villa Carlotta is the merging of architecture, art, and nature. This is evident in the meticulously landscaped gardens surrounding the villa and the beautiful trees that line the pathways. The villa boasts an incredible collection of plants from all around the world, with breathtaking fountains and sculptures to elevate the experience. Inside the villa, you'll be transported to various bygone eras with an incredible art collection that has been amassed over several centuries.

Villa Carlotta is easy to reach by any means of local transportation. There's also free parking just a few minutes from the villa.

Villa Melzi d'Eril

Villa Melzi d'Eril

Image: Villa Melzi d'Eril Credit: Dafinka

Commissioned by Francesco Melzi d'Eril as his residence, the inside of the villa is lined with incredible historical artworks and intricate decorations. The villa's luxury furnishings and architectural choices truly showcase the refined tastes of its original designer. You'll even find a neo-Egyptian mausoleum within the gardens, complete with a statue of Francesco Melzi d'Eril by renowned sculptor Luigi Acquisti. Those who have a specific interest in the Melzi family can also explore the nearby chapel, which has an extensive collection of historical artifacts and family memorabilia.

One of the defining features of Villa Melzi d'Eril is the sprawling botanical gardens that stretch along the shore of the lake. The English-style garden has exotic plants and beautifully crafted statues. The garden also has a wide variety of camellias, producing beautiful flowers from late winter to early spring.

The villa's Bellagio location makes it an easy commute, no matter where you're traveling from.

Villa Olmo

Villa Olmo

Image: Villa Olmo Credit: M-Production

Inside the villa, you'll find several rooms adorned with intricate art pieces such as decorative stucco work, fresco art, and period furnishings. Walking through the halls and rooms of the villa will transport visitors back in time to the 18th century, offering a peek into the opulent lifestyles that the nobles lived.

Surrounding the villa is a vast garden enriched with manicured lawns, trees, and a vast array of beautiful flowers. It makes for an incredible backdrop to any stroll, and visitors can marvel at the breathtaking central fountain with its magnificent sculpture.

Over the years, Villa Olmo has slowly transformed into a cultural hub that hosts everything from musical events to international conferences. This is thanks to the spacious hallways and large open areas that can be used for many different events. It's also one of the most sought-after locations for private events such as weddings. The garden and building can be freely explored as it is now part of a public park.

Villa Bernasconi

Villa Bernasconi

Image: Villa Bernasconi Credit: Fabio Caironi

The interior of the villa will bring visitors back to the Belle Époque era, showing off elegant rooms that have been meticulously designed and preserved to offer a glimpse into the opulent lifestyles of its owners. The large rooms frequently host cultural events, art exhibitions, and guided tours, which can provide an immersive experience to anyone curious to learn more about the history and cultural significance of the villa.

But unlike many villas on Lake Como, Villa Bernasconi provides a more unique backdrop as it is not a lakefront villa. This offers visitors a different experience from the usual coastal villas with their views of the lake and mountains.

Villa Erba

Villa Erba

Image: Villa Erba Credit: Essevu

Over the years, many notable guests have attended a myriad of events in Villa Erba, making it one of the most storied and historically significant Lake Como villas.

Villa Erba offers a lavish interior adorned with period furnishings, ornate decorations, and outstanding artwork to give it a sophisticated character. This offers a look into the aristocratic lifestyle of the period it was built in, reflecting the opulence it once exuded as guests wander through its halls.

Villa Erba is a culturally rich destination in its own right, and its position as a renowned host for international conferences and exhibitions makes it one of the more unique and interesting villas to visit.

Villa Serbelloni

Villa Serbelloni has a storied history that stretches across multiple centuries. Initially built as a monastery, it was transformed into a noble residence and housed many wealthy families. Villa Serbelloni underwent architectural changes as the years went by, adding multiple influences from various periods, eventually becoming a cultural hub. It has hosted many illustrious guests throughout the centuries, including high-profile intellectuals and artists.

Villa Serbelloni

Image: Villa Serbelloni Credit: AerialVision_it

This estate offers some of the most incredible panoramic views thanks to its location on the tip of Bellagio, right where Lake Como splits into two branches. The alluring entrance is decorated by an extensive botanical garden that features lush trees and a wide variety of beautiful flowers.

The villa's interior is adorned with period furniture, intricate old tapestries, and historical artifacts gathered through many centuries. Some of the villa's original architectural elements are still intact, reflecting the various evolutions of the villa as it changed hands. From Renaissance to neo-classical and also Moorish influences, the interior is a wondrous sight.

Villa Cipressi

Villa Cipressi

Image: Villa Cipressi Credit: Trabantos

In the 19th century, Villa Cipressi became a private residence and was renovated to include more eclectic styles and interior motifs, which have become its defining characteristics today. With a mix of antique furnishings and fresco art pieces, the villa now reflects its aristocratic past and offers a glimpse into the lifestyle several centuries ago.

Villa Cipressi is surrounded by ancient cypress trees and a rich mix of flora, offering some beautiful sights and aroma to all visitors. There are also panoramic views of Lake Como, and you can soak in the beautiful sights from a delightful terrace where guests can also enjoy delicious local cuisine.


MORE From FORTLOC


Travel

Palm Springs

Formula 1

Formula 1 Tire Guide

Travel

Las Vegas

Racing

IMSA

Endurance

Prototype Racing Guide

Racing

The Economics of Racing