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Villa Carlotta on Lake Como: Fascinating Garden and Magnificent Artwork

April, 22 2016 ( Updated August, 09 2017)

The iconic Villa Carlotta is the central attraction of the beautiful village of Tremezzo along the shores of Lake Como. A visit to this 17th-century villa cannot be missed especially for its admirable garden, statues, stairs and fountains.  The visitors can explore the museum, walk through the Italian garden-park and enjoy the wonderful views of the town of Bellagio and the lake from inside the villa. To help you appreciate the historical building better, we have brought you a comprehensive guide to the villa.


History: The villa was built by Milanese Marquis Giorgio II Clerici as the manifesto of the success of the Clerici family. The construction of the villa began in 1690 and was completed by his great grandson who was also a collector of masterpieces of art.

In 1801, the Clerici family sold the villa to Gian Battista Sommariva. It is under his patronage that the Villa gained prominence and became home to a number of antique and contemporary art masterpieces, including the works of Antonio Canova, Bertel Thorvaldsen and Francesco Hayez. He also transformed a part of the park into a fascinating romantic garden.

The property was sold to Princess Marianne of the Netherlands in 1843 who gifted it to her daughter Carlotta as a wedding present. Hence the name Villa Carlotta.




Highlights: The villa is famous for the enchanting views of the lake and the lake towns that one can enjoy from the terrace of the villa. Some of the other highlights of the Villa which can’t be missed are:


In the Garden

  • The garden park of the villa which is spread over 8 hectares dates back to the 17th century 

  • More than 150 varieties of Rhododendrons’ and Azaleas’ spring flower and some very old varieties of camellias and century old cedars can be found here.

  • The modern theatre of greenery which is a grassy and winding path that rises on the hill and is bordered on both the sides by plants and trees.

  • The stone balustrade decorated with twelve statues of mythological divinities and allegorical figures in Candoglia marble


At the Museum

  • The famous statue of Palamedes, one of the masterpieces of Antonio Canova, which was commissioned by Sommariva because he recognised part of his own life in the story of Palamedes.

  • The Eros and Psyche statue made by Adamo Tadolini which captures the moment when Eros restored Psyche from her death-like sleep.

  • The Last Adieu of Romeo and Juliet, an oil painting by Francesco Hayez which is inspired by Shakespeare’s great tragedy and shows a young woman embracing Romeo for the last kiss.

  • A rare collection of plaster cameos, more than 470 pieces, preserved in wooden boxes.

  • Princess Carlotta’s Bedroom and the Empire Style Parlour


Practical Information:


How to Reach:


By car

From Italy: Highway A9 Milano - Laghi from Milan to Chiasso/Switzerland, exit Como Centro, then follow the indication for Menaggio- Tremezzo (Street n. 340).

From Swiss (Lugano): Cross the Swiss-Italian border in Gandria, pass Porlezza in the direction to Menaggio. Then Street 340 till Tremezzo.


By bus

Every hour from Como, S. Agostino square, direction Menaggio-Colico, stop at Tremezzo.


By boat

From Bellagio and Varenna, about every 20 minutes (also with car on board).

From Como, about every hour


Entrance Fees:


Adult € 9,00

Senior over 65 € 7,00 (with ID)

Children under 6 free entrance

Family (2 parents + 2 children) € 20,00

Parties min. 20 persons € 7,00


Opening Hours:


04th April – 16th October

Opening time:9 a.m. – 7.30 p.m. (last ticket 6 p.m., museum closure 6.30 p.m.)


18th March – 03rd April and 17th October – 31st October

Opening time: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (last ticket 5 p.m., museum closure 5.30 p.m.)


The opening hours may change, please check the website before planning your visit


Accommodation:


Tremezzo has great accommodation facilities. Book a holiday home close to Villa Carlotta and enjoy a peaceful retreat on the shores of Lake Como.

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