Villa Carlotta

This is an excerpt from the book “Lake Como” by Enrico Massetti. You can buy the full book here.

Villa Carlotta
Villa Carlotta

Villa Carlotta is a place of rare beauty, where masterpieces of nature and art live together in perfect harmony in over 70.000 square meters of gardens and museum. The beautiful villa was built at the end of XVII century by the Milanese marquis Giorgio Clerici in a natural basin between lake, and mountains, facing the dolomite Grignas and the peninsula of Bellagio.

The architect created for the Clericis an essential but sober building, with an Italian garden decorated with sculptures, stairs, and fountains. In 1801 Gian Battista Sommariva, famous politician, businessman, and patron of arts bought the villa.

Entrance - Cherubin Fountain Photo © Rita Crane
Entrance – Cherubin Fountain

Thanks to this owner the property in Tremezzo attained the summit of its splendor and became one of an essential halting-place of the Grand Tour. The villa became a temple of XIX century art with works of Canova, Thorvaldsen, and Hayez: Palamedes, Eros, and Psyche, Terpsichore.

The last kiss of Romeo and Juliet are only some of the masterpieces that enrich the extraordinary collection. Under Sommariva part of the park was transformed into a charming romantic garden.

Sommariva’s heirs sold the villa in 1843 to Princess Marianne of Nassau, Albert’s of Prussia wife, who gave it as a present to her daughter Carlotta in occasion of her wedding with Georg II of Saxen-Meiningen. Hence the name Villa Carlotta.

Gardens in bloom - Photo © ToddSF
Gardens in bloom

Very fond in botanic, Georg enriched the park, today of great historical and environmental value. The gardens of Villa Carlotta chiefly owe their reputation to the rhododendrons’ and azaleas’ spring flowering, consisting of over 150 different sorts.

But the gardens are worth to visit in every period of the year. Old varieties of camellias, century-old cedars and sequoias, huge planes and tropical plants, the Rock garden and the Ferns valley, the Rhododendrons wood and the Bamboos garden, the agricultural tools museum and the beautiful views on the lake built in the ages the celebrity of this place, still today consider “a place of heaven.”

Lilys at Villa Carlotta - Photo © Debbie sabadash
Lilys at Villa Carlotta

The garden-park of Villa Carlotta (about 8 hectares) is a fascinating place: its favorable position, but also the harmonic coexistence of styles, the variety of species, the literary suggestions make it worthy of a visit.

Come to see the Italian garden that dates back to the XVII Century with its geometrical schema, stair, and terraces, statues, and fountains; come to feel the echoes of the Romantic period, still alive in the structure of the park with old trees of significant size and views of great charm.

Come to live the impressive vegetal architecture of the second half of the XIX Century with the monumental azaleas and rhododendrons and the unending richness of rare plants and species!

Where to stay in Tremezzo

There are hotels, apartments, villas and condo hotels available, check it out and make a reservation here.

This is an excerpt from the book “Lake Como” by Enrico Massetti. You can buy the full book here.