Villa d’Este

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Originally known as Villa del Garovo, this villa is on the shore of Lake Como in the municipality of Cernobbio. Today, it is a luxury hotel and the garden is part of the “Grandi Giardini Italiani” circuit.

The villa was built in 1568, designed by Pellegrino Tibaldi and commissioned by Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio. Subsequently, the complex was sold to the Marquis Bartolomeo Calderara, who bought it for his wife Vittoria Peluso at the end of the XVIII century.
In 1815, Carolina of Brunswick, Princess of Wales and the despised wife of King George IV of England, bought the villa and named it “Nuova Villa d’Este”.

In 1856, a new villa to serve as a hotel was built inside the park, and called “Hotel de la Reine d’Angleterre”. Since 1873, Villa d’Este has been highly appreciated as a luxury resort and one of the most renowned hotels in the world.
The residence overlooks the lake and offers several breath-taking views. It is a large building, which was often altered and modified especially between the XVI and the XIX centuries.


Due to the several changes of ownership, the garden has undergone countless modifications, eventually losing a part of its XVI century look. Viale d’Ercole is one of the original features which has survived all the changes, leading to the sculpture of Hercules and Licia.
The avenue is delimited by a double row of stone basins served by the water of a stream. There are laurels (Laurus nobilis), cypresses (Cupressus sempervirens), and magnolias all round it.

It’s also worth mentioning the nymphaeum of Baroque origin, decorated with a mosaic with numberless pebbles, and creating suggestive curvilinear movements.
An important landscape modification was done by Countess Peluso: to celebrate her husband’s war efforts in Spain, she built a series of walls and fake strongholds in the upper part of the garden, reached through small passages and bridges surrounded by wild vegetation.

The lower part of the garden features vast lawns surrounded by artfully carved boxwoods (Buxus sempervirens). Near the former hydrotherapy building, several spruces (spruces Picea abies), magnolias, and a large plane tree can be seen.

The last works on the gardens date back to 2004 when the “Chèf Garden” was built. It lies between Viale dell’Ercole and Tempietto di Telemaco – it is where the resident Executive Chef (currently Luciano Parolari) chooses aromatic herbs and fresh vegetables for his creations.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


Via Regina 40 - Cernobbio(CO)

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