Villa Balbiano: A Villa With A View
Located between Il Dosso di Lavedo and the Comacina Island, Villa Balbiano stands on the shore of Lake Como, steeped in Italian history.
At over two hectares, Villa Balbiano is one of Lake Como’s largest properties. As well as a garden overlooking the water, a pool and private access to the lake, the property boasts six luxury suites in the main palace, as well as four bedrooms in the left wing and another five in the adjacent villino.
Historically, the villa’s beginnings date back to the 16th century, when the Giovio family used it as their residence. At the end of the 16th century, in 1596, the villa was sold to Tolomeo Gallio, who reportedly redesigned the location based on architect, sculptor and painter Pellegrino Tibaldi’s drawings.
Since then, the residence has been owned by a number of other prominent individuals, who have adapted and evolved the property to their personal tastes, and had it play host to all manner of festivals, banquets and dances. In 1787, it was acquired by politician and patron of the arts Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini, who commissioned frescoes and added a pavilion. In 1982, it was bought by silk entrepreneur Michele Canepa, who modernized the interior and added abstract paintings to the classic collection already inside.
Most recently, it was renovated by renowned French designer Jacques Garcia, who undertook a five-year project to bring the villa to the standards of today. The garden has also been recently restored by Colson Stone, and was named winner of the Society of Garden Designers Award for Historic Garden Restoration in 2017. The garden’s restoration was centred on opening up the lake views, allowing light to flood into the villa’s windows and splitting part of the garden into distinct sections, which include an ornamental vegetable garden, shaded vine walk and rose garden.
While the history of the villa is impressive, so too is its approach to interior design. Within its walls, you’ll find countless paintings and statues, added by occupants and owners over the years, as well as an extensive collection of antique furniture and ornaments.
The villa is located within close proximity to the city of Milan, as well as major international airports. It is available to book for weddings and events through its current owner, The Heritage Collection.