Villa Carlotta: Origins and History
Villa Carlotta was built at the end of XVII century by the Milanese marquis Giorgio Clerici in a natural basin between lake and mountains. The architect created an important but sober building, with an Italian garden decorated with sculptures, stairs and fountains. It was with Gian Battista Sommariva, the following owner, that the property in Tremezzo attained the summit of its splendour. The villa became a temple of XIX century art with works of Canova, Thorvaldsen and Hayez and part of the park was transformed in a fascinating romantic garden.
Sommariva's heirs sold the villa in 1843 to Princess Marianne of Nassau, who gave it as a present to her daughter Carlotta in occasion of her wedding with Georg II of Saxen-Meiningen. Very fond in botanic, Georg enriched the park, today of great historical and environmental value. The gardens of Villa Carlotta chiefly owe their reputation to the rhododendrons’ and azaleas’ spring flowering, consisting of over 150 different sorts. But the gardens are worth to visit in every period of the year: old varieties of camellias, century old cedars and sequoias, huge planes and tropical plants, the Rock garden and the Ferns valley, the Rhododendrons wood and the Bamboos garden, the agricultural tools museum and wonderful views of the lake. Since more than 10 years every Friday night from July to September the villa hosts a chamber music festival.