Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini acquired the 17th century Villa Balbiano in the municipality of Ossuccio in 1787, when there was a small Franciscan monastery. He then purchased the promontory known as the “Lavedo hump” and erected a double pavilion composed of a library and music room set in a large, picturesque park in a dominant position on its tip of a steep promontory overlooking Lake Como, in particular a wonderful view of the gulfs of Venere e Diana.
In XIX Luigi Porro Lambertenghi , Milanese patriot , became the owner , who also offered hospitality to Silvio Pellico, tutor of his sons; few years later Silvio Pellico was captured and chained into the Spileberg.
Subsequently the villa was sold to Giuseppe Arconati Visconti, whose wife aimed to offer hospitality to Bercher, Giusti and Manzoni.
After a period of neglect , the villa was bought , just after the World War, by the American general Butler Amos.
In 1974 Conte Guido Monzino renovated the whole complex with a rich collection of Chinese, African and pre-Colombian art, precious English and French furniture of the 1700s and the small museum with documents and mementoes of his expeditions, in 1971 the North Pole Exploration and in 1973 the Everest one In 1988 the count left the Villa to the FAI, the Italian National Trust.
Actually the entrance to the Villa is opened to the public with the limitation to visit only the gardens, during the period
april-october, on tuesday, thursday, saturady and sunday (timetable: 10-12,30 / 15,30-18,30), and is reachable for a
visit from the lake too with a ferry boat sailing from Sala Comacina.
During opening days, from 9.45 till 15.15 (every 30 minutes) it has been put in place a motorboat regular service (tel. 031-821955)
with departure from Sala pier.
Last month sunday (from aprile till ottobre) the walking access from Lenno is opened (circa 800m.).
You'll find indicators boards starting from the church square.
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