Villa Sommi Picenardi

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Villa Sommi Picenardi was built at the end of the XVII century in upper Brianza (“Alta Brianza” area), namely in Olgiate Molgora. The noble Sala family needed, in fact, a country residence.
The villa was annexed to a watchtower and an agricultural warehouse in the XIV century. The residence and annexes, arranged in an articulated structure, are a testament to Lombardy Baroque style. They were most probably completed and renovated around the beginning of the XVIII century.

On the back of the residence, there is the Italian garden with a terraced structure, divided in the centre by eye-catching ramps and stairways which blend with the landscape full of small and green hills; the latter conceals the so-called “Secret Garden”, found on the back of the property.

Although the overall design and the coloured mosaic decoration of the staircase are of Roman inspiration – quite unusual in Lombardy, several details of the garden are a true testament to the XVIII century exquisite craftmanship: garlands and festoons of roses hang from the balustrades and the upper terrace; all the statues, depicting Fauns, mythological Gods and urns with fruit and vegetables, look like living room ornaments rather than stone sculptures.


One wing of the villa is flanked by the garden of the theatre, a space rich in topiary works and surrounded by hornbeams (Carpinus betulus) which prominently contribute to the stage-like effect.

The garden of the villa was enlarged in 1880 with the construction of an English-style landscaped park, which did not affect the old Italian garden – it was created, in fact, in its surrounding area. Several interesting elements were thus included, like a romantic lake, and several observation points on the countryside, as well as many Old World sycamore trees (Platanus orientalis), a huge beech (Fagus sylvatica “Asplenifolia”), and some Lebanon cedars (Cedrus libani).

In the 1920s, the villa was inherited by the Marquis Paolo Sommi Picenardi di Calvatone – a great enthusiast of gardening, who improved the famous Secret Garden and the English park.
The whole complex is thus a true testament to garden architecture, perfectly retaining and preserving several different styles.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


Viale Sommi Picenardi, 8 - Olgiate Molgora(LC)

388 0960728

Altre info

Visita del parco euro 8,00; visita del parco e interno della villa euro 15,00

Dai primi di aprile a fine luglio e dai primi di settembre a metà ottobre (su appuntamento)

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