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2006 Trip - Italy - Lake Como - Villa del Balbianello

Sunday 5-21-06

After the fireworks last night, this morning we had a band play right in front of our balcony. Don't know what that was all about either!

Breakfast is included in the room rate of 170E - it was fine - meats and cheese, a really good muslix-style cereal (cornflakes too), juices, croissants and the ever-present expresso and cappuccino.

It turned out to be a Two-Villa Day! Yes, we visited Villa del Balbianello in Lenno and then the much larger Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo (one town north).

We took a small motor boat taxi down the coast to Villa del Barbianello. It was supposed to be a walkable trip, but I am really glad we did the water taxi - it was only 5E each round trip.

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Villa del Barbianello belonged to a succession of owners since it was originally built as a monastery in the 13th century. The last owner was an Italian explorer (Mt. Everest and other foreign lands), Guido Monzino, who bought and renovated the villa from 1974-1988. The house remained exactly as he left it, with lots of artifacts from his many expeditions, and the grounds are gorgeous. He died at age 60 in 1988 and willed the villa to the FAI, a non-profit organization, which maintains it.

We had a guided tour thru the buildings and spent a lot of time walking around the grounds. It was fabulous! Our very favorite villa of the trip!

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This is where Guido Monzino's remains are interred:
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Oh! And we found out about the mysterious fireworks last night. A private party by NY stockbrokers was held at Villa Balbianello, and they sponsored the fireworks. It was a huge display, for half an hour or more - must have cost them a bundle!

I just came across a great blog report on a visit to Villa del Balbianello on Dutch Baby.

A few more photos of Villa del Balbianello:

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Comments (9)

Now we know where all of our money went!

Your photos are beautiful. I can't believe that I have never made it to this part of Italy.

Beautiful photos! What a lovely place.

Barb Cabot:

Nancy, I love love love this! Thank you for the trip accounts and the beautiful photos.

Gorgeous!

Palma:

Great photos. I really like the approach by boat! The walk there was a little tough for me. We returned by boat. Much better!

I did a semi-private tour arriving/departing by small boat when I stayed in Belaggio a few years ago. I think it was 40 euros. I loved loved loved my visit to the Villa del Balbianello. It was definitely worth the cost. Wonderful photos! An amazing place! Glad you enjoyed your visit there.

Lorena:

My future Husband to be and I often visit Lago De Como for romantic long weekends. He is Italian and we discovered Villa Del Balbianello on our many boats rides along the Lake. 2 1/2 years ago! We fell upon this Magical Villa and I wished for this magical place to be our setting for our Special Day. My dream is coming true! I am marrying the Love of my life the famous Italian Artist Mauro Perucchetti In this very Villa!!!

nancyhol:

Oh, Lorena, I am so glad you posted! What a dream-come-true to be married at the Villa! When will this happen?

I would love to hear more about your wedding plans. You can email me at nancyhol@yahoo.com

We truly loved Villa del Balbianello and plan to return there in September.

Cook:

This villa was used as the setting and location for the movie "A Month by the Lake" with Vanessa Redgrave. I loved the movie, music and the film location was awesome Villa Barbianello!

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