La Villa del Balbaniello: enchanted residence overlooking Lake Como

A short distance from the Lombard capital, precisely in the municipality of Lenno on Lake Como, it is possible to admire a wonderful villa: Villa del Balbaniello , a very elegant structure surrounded by a splendid flower garden with centuries-old trees and enchanting artistic beauties.


Even if it does not present particular elements of splendor, it immediately recalls the Baroque and the princely settings, being a really important structure from an aesthetic point of view. The credit for giving the structure the beauty that we can all admire today goes to the last owner of the Villa del Balbianello whose contribution was fundamental.

The latter decided to donate it to FAI, an acronym of the Italian Environment Fund or the Italian non-profit foundation aimed at protecting the artistic and landscape beauties of our territory. In this way the Villa del Balbianello can be observed, and visited, by anyone both externally and internally.

Villa del Balbianello is located in a peaceful, serene and silent environment, where you can find the peace that is so lacking in those who have always lived in a large crowded metropolis. It represents the ideal destination for all those who wish to disconnect from the hectic city routine, even if only for a few hours as it is easily reachable both from Milan and from the neighboring municipalities.

The construction of the Villa del Balbianello is due to Cardinal Durini who, starting from the 18th century, laid its foundations on the ruins of an ancient Franciscan monastery . Of the latter it is still possible to observe the remains such as, for example, the bell tower and the facade of the church. These elements have been deconsecrated in order to incorporate them into the structure and thus make them part of the house.

At the beginning of the 19th century the villa was a property of Count Luigi Porro Lambertenghi, only later did it become the property of the Marquis Giuseppe Arconati Visconti. It was a melting pot of the Italian Risorgimento, hosting people of illustrious importance such as Massimo D’Azeglio and Giacinto Provana.

The Villa del Balbianello was bought in 1974 by Guido Monzino : entrepreneur, explorer and famous mountaineer. He made several changes in the furnishings of the villa, which is what can still be seen today: the beautiful library full of books, and precious travel guides, and the so-called “Room of the Primitives”, where it is possible to admire Inuit statuettes that the Monzino has collected during his many travels, in addition to the sled that the same explorer used in 1971 to cross the North Pole.

In recent years this villa has been used as a location for several Hollywood films such as ” Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones ” by George Lucas (in 2002) and ” Casino Royale ” by Martin Campbell (in 2006) .

Opening hours and days

Last admission to the Garden at 5.15pm. Last admission to the Villa at 4.30pm according to availability.

From 1 November closing at 17.00 (last admission to the Garden at 16.00; last admission to the Villa at 15.30 according to availability).

Prices and Reductions

Garden only

  • FAI members: free admission *
  • Full: € 10
  • Reduced (6-18 years): € 5
  • Children up to 5 years: free admission
  • National Trust members and students up to 25 years: € 8
  • Bienfaiteurs Amis du Louvre members and disabled people with companion: free admission

Garden and Villa
Tours with compulsory guide that cannot be booked, in groups of up to 15 people, lasting about 60 minutes, in Italian and English (groups are trained on site)
FAI members: € 4

  • Full: € 20
  • Children (6-18 years): € 10
  • Children up to 5 years: free admission
  • National Trust members and students up to 25 years: € 14
  • Disabled people with companion: free admission

How to get

The Villa del Balbaniello in Lenno, on the tip of the Lavedo peninsula, in the province of Como. To get to the villa, from Lenno, you can follow an uphill walk of about 1 km.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Where to swim near Milan: 3 dream places surrounded by nature

Amusement parks in Milan and Lombardy: the 6 most beautiful and absolutely worth trying