Villa Balbianello clings to a peninsula jutting into the middle of Lake Como, Italy. Notice the umbrella-shaped tree on the patio. How do you think they keep the tree in that shape? The gardener has to climb a ladder up through the middle of the tree and then trim the tree from the top.
The Villa has beautiful gardens, with many statues, It is also possible to tour the inside of the Villa, which is kept just as it was when the last owner, Guido Monzino, passed away in 1988 and left the property to the National Trust of Italy.
The Villa Balbianello has views up and down Lake Como because of its location on the end of a peninsula sticking into the lake. The Villa was built in 1787 on the site of an old Franciscan monastery.
The gardens are terraced and cover the end of the peninsula as it extends down to the lake. The last owner, Buido Manzino, was the heir to a department store fortune. He lived in the Villa from 1974 - 1988 and filled it with his collections from his world travels and explorations.
The loggia in the middle of the upper part of the villa has ususual landscaping for its vines. Guido Manzino explored the North Pole, Mount Everest, and many other places. He was the first person to climb the north tower of Torres del Paine, Chile, which we have showed on this website in thepast. Sadly, he died of lung cancer at age 60, as he was a chain smoker.
Villa Balbianello was used tas the location for the place where James Bond recouperated from his injuries in Casino Royale and for a wedding scene in Star Wars II, Attack of the Clones. It was also used in filming A Month by the Lake. We spent a week by the lake in Bellagio last summer with 13 friends and family who joined us. I would love to spend a month at Lake Como some day, perhaps after we retire.