Resting on a wooded peninsula in the middle of the Lake, Villa Balbianello is one of the most fascinating destinations of the entire Lake Como.
Built in 1787 on a pre-existing monastery of Franciscan friars, the villa was commissioned by Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini. The property then passed to Luigi Porro Lambertenghi and then to Giuseppe Arconati Visconti, who made a gathering place for some of the most important intellectuals and writers of the time such as Alessandro Manzoni and Giovanni Berchet.
The Visconti made some improvements to the Villa, already beautiful, intervening mainly on the loggia and the park.
There was a long period of gradual abandonment of over thirty years, interrupted by the subsequent recovery wanted by a US official, Butler Ames.
In 1974 the Villa was taken over by Giudo Monzino, an explorer heir to the family who founded an important Ita.ian chain of stores, who decorated the house with memories and memorabilia collected in his various explorations, transforming part of the villa into a sort of personal museum that deserves to be visited.
A tour of the Villa is needed not only to deepen know its history, but also well as the curiosities that surround it. These include the fact that its beauty was also celebrated by the international cinema becoming location for films such as, among others, “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” and “007 Casinò Royal”