They are the most luminous pearls of the lake and its enchanted nature. The villas of Lake Como are a wonderful opportunity to go back in time and rediscover the excitement of the big European travellers who have lived here and wrote, composed, painted, loved and dreamed inspired by the charm of this little paradise.

Villa Carlotta

Villa Carlotta, Grand Hotel Tremezzo neighbour, located just 5 minutes walking from the entrance, is the most famous villa on Lake Como, in particular for its centuries-old 70,000sqm park. Its botanic gardens are
filled with colour in spring from orange trees knitted into pergolas and some of Europe’s finest rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias. The villa, strung with paintings, sculptures (some by Antonio Canova) and tapestries, takes its name from the Prussian princess who was given the place in 1847 as a wedding present from her mother. Upstairs, rooms with period furniture provide an insight into the life of the princess.

Villa Balbianello

Located just 1 Km outside Lenno, this was where scenes from 2006’s James Bond remake, Casino Royale, and Star Wars Episode II were shot; it is one of the most dramatic locations on Lake Como (if not the world). Built by Cardinal Angelo Durini in 1787, Villa Balbianello is set amid florid gardens on a promontory. The sculpted gardens, which seem to drip off the high promontory like sauce off a melting ice-cream cone, are the perfect place for hopelessly romantic elopers to spend a day. Visitors are only allowed to walk the 1Km path from the Lenno landing stage to the estate on Tuesday and at weekends. On other days, you have to take a taxi boat from Lenno. If you want to see the villa, you must join a guided tour.

Villa Melzi

Villa Melzi gardens in Bellagio are the example of the neoclassic idea of contrasting romantic atmosphere, here created by the groups of giant rhododendrons and azaleas covering the green slopes of the center of the garden and landscaping of the water-garden of Chinese inspiration. Many illustrious guest have stayed at the villa, including Franz Listz and Stendhal, and important political meetings have been held here.

Villa Monastero

Villa Monastero is situated on a promontory which lies along the eastern side of Lake Como, from Varenna to Fiumelatte, the result of age-long work which transformed the steep slopes into a scenic design. Particularly interesting are the exotic arboreal species distributed through the garden, including: African and American palms, agaves, yuccas, dragon-trees, citrus trees, oleanders and other botanical rarities such as the Erithea Armata.