Villa Carlotta , one of the famous of the Lake, located on a morainic hill on the west shore of the lake , 201 metres above sea level, with 70.000 square metres surface. The building of the villa was begun in 1690 by the Milanese Marquis Giorgio Clerici , ( the C letter on the gate of the lake terrace stands for Clerici) an authoritative personage at the time of the Spanish and then Austrian domination; In the Villa you can admire the original baroque furniture and many fine works of art, an Italian garden, with stair cases, balustrades, water lily pool, dwarfs waterfall. The name of the architect who projected the Villa is unknown.
In 1795 Count Gian Battista Sommariva, lawyer and politic man, bought the villa and he brought it to the most brightness according to the Neo classical style ( many works of arts, painting, marble sculptures, bas-reliefs ) a part of the garden was transformed by Sommariva in an English romantic park. The Villa was sold in 1843, along with its collections of art, to Princess Marianne of the Netherlands, the wife of Prince Albert of Prussia. Princess Marianne gave the Villa as a wedding present to her daughter Charlotte on occasion of her marriage with crown-Prince Georg of Sachsen Meiningen. Hence the name Villa Carlotta. The prince has the merit of the extension of the English garden, known in all over the world. The residence-museum belonged to the Sachsen Meiningen until the outbreak of the World War I .Rare varieties introduced by princes Sachsen-Meiningen give to the Villa Carlotta the reputation of a really botanical garden.
You can ascend to the Villa through five staircases, formed by two arms with five terraces adorned by citrus fruit-tree pergolas and many vases, in this garden you can find more than 500 types of plants , big sequoia ,cork trees, Camphor trees, mirrh trees, papyrus, banana trees.
Always admired citrus fruits pergolas :orange tress , tangerine trees ,lemon trees ,citron trees, grape fruit trees.
Villa Carlotta contains remarkable Marble sculptures by Canova "Amor and Psyche" finished by Adamo Tadolini (Canova's favourite pupil) in 1824, the bas-reliefs by Thorwaldsen with the entrance of Alessandro Magno in Babilonia, some works of art coming from Accademia di Brera and Duomo di Milano and the original perfectly preserved furniture complete the Neo classical collection that the tourist can admire having the sensation to visit a noble house still inhabited by its ancient owners. Thanks to significant interventions by the lawyer Giuseppe Bianchini and the Rotary Club of Milan, the Villa was finally entrusted to the Ente Villa Carlotta, a foundation established by a royal decree on 12 Mai 1927. This non-profit making company is responsible for the maintenance and the preservation of the edifice, the works of art and the gardens. The statutory purpose is to enhance the value of the artistic and botanical wealth of the Villa Carlotta.
How to get
From Milan (75 Km.) and from Varese (60 Km.): Autostrada dei Laghi, exit for Como nord.
From Como (30 Km.): SS34 “Regina”. From the east side of Como lake you can take a ferry
boat from Varenna to Cadenabbia or from Bellagio to Cadenabbia
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