By MJ, ELE Editor and Travel Writer
Built in the late 17th century by Marquis Giorgio Clerici from Milan, Villa Carlotta sits on the edge of the lake, overlooking the sparkling blue waters of Lake Como. Passing through a number of well known families over the following 200 years, the villa became the property of an organisation dedicated to its preservation in the 1920s and since that time the villa, gardens and artworks have been open to be enjoyed but the public.
The Villa itself is exceptionally beautiful, on the edge of the lake overlooking beautiful Bellagio, the interiors have been preserved so that you can get a real sense of how the villa would have been used as a summer house in centuries past.
Significant artworks line the villa’s walls and there are frequent exhibitions, particularly over the peak summer months.
Garden lovers will be completely delighted by the extensive gardens. Citrus tunnels, rose gardens, traditional Italian gardens, tropical plants, succulents and a fern valley are just some of the beautiful features to explore.
The gardens are quite extensive so wear comfortable shoes, and if you are visiting in the hot summer months, as we were, make sure you take water as there is a lot of walking with some sloping paths.
Entry to Villa Carlotta is 10 Euros for adults with discounts available for seniors, children, students and families. There is a lovely shop for souvenirs and gifts, a picnic area and well behaved dogs on leash are allowed.
Opening hours vary depending on the time of year you are visiting, so check Villa Carlotta’s website here for opening times.
We arrived by ferry from nearby Menaggio, it is a fairly quick trip from nearby villages with regular ferries going to Tremezzo during the day. Click here for our more detailed guide on getting around Lake Como.