The Villa Melzi is one of the villas whose gardens are open to visitors that makes Lake Como such an enchanting place to visit. This is the lakeside gazebo in the garden. The garden has many pathways, statues and a wide variety of plants.
The Villa itself is not open to the public, but the chapel is. This is a reflection shot inside the chapel.
This is the ceiling of the chapel. The Villa Melzi was built in 1808-1810 to be the summer residence of the Vice President of the Napoleonic Italian Republic. The villa was later used by visitors such as Franz Lizt, who composed some of his symphonies here. No wonder he found inspiration to compose beautiful music in such a location.
The gardens are full of surprises, including several rare Egyptian statues such as this one. The Villa Melzi is in Bellagio. It is a very short walk down a flower and tree-lined promenade from the main part of town to the Villa Gardens. A multi-day admission pass is perfect for a week's stay in Bellagio, allowing visits in both morning and late afternoon light.
We have visited Bellagio twice, both times in late May. That is a delightful time to visit, as the azaleas and rhododendrons should be in bloom. Last year, however, Spring was unusually cool, as you can see from the snow in the Alps up the lake. The cooler Spring caused us to be there just as the azaleas were starting to bloom, but before they were in full color, as you see in this photo. Another advantage of a May visit is that the hotel prices jump higher in June.