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Villa del Balbianello Lenno

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Located on the western shore of Lake Como, Villa del Balbianello is perched on the point of the Dosso di Lavedo, a wooded promontory that juts out from the coastline to form a small peninsula. Villa del Balbianello is famous for its elaborate terraced gardens, and has been featured in a number of famous movies including: A Month by the Lake; Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones; and Casino Royale.

Villa del Balbianello: A postcard of enchantment

The Villa has a delightful landing stage from where a flight of steps leads up to the garden. The garden's structure follows the natural form of the terrain. At some points there are steep rocks, that form terraces at various heights where lawns, hedges, cypresses and chestnuts succeed each other. After the death of Cardinal Durini the villa was sold to Giuseppe Arconati Visconti. He enriched the garden and the loggia. After a period of neglect, the villa was bought, just after the first World War, by the American general Butler Amos. He renovated the whole complex. After his death the property was bought by Count Guido Monzino, an explorer, who brought his collection of art pieces and reminders of his explorations to the villa.

The interiors of the Villa remain redolent of the style choices made in the 1970s by the last owner, Milanese entrepreneur and explorer Guido Monzino. The rooms play host to a rich collection of Chinese, African and pre-Columbian art, alongside 18th-century English and French furniture. There is also a small museum housing documents and memorabilia from Monzino’s expeditions. In 1988 the count left the Villa to the FAI, the Italian National Trust.