Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Details of Villa Balbianello

This is the magical view of the Villa Balbianello that greets visitors as you are about to arrive. The only way to reach this spot is by boat from one of the the towns along Lake Como, as the Villa sits astride the tip of a peninsula and cannot be reached by visitors from land.
This Villa was built on the site of a Franciscan Monastery from the 1700's. It has many charming architectural details, such as this coat of arms.
This looks like a church, but inside this part of the villa are bedrooms and the kitchen. The Villa was last owned by Guido Monzino, from 1974 until his death in 1988. He was the heir to an Italian department store chain and a renowned world explorer. He was the first Italian to climb Everest, and he explored the polar regions. He died of lung cancer around age 60, as he was a heavy smoker.
An American military officer, Butler Ames, owned the Villa in the early 20th century, and he renovated it, including the garden, so my guess is that he is the one who installed this fireplace mantle to the entrance walkway near the front door to the Villa. Guido Manzino left the Villa to an Italian architectural trust, so the property is open to visitors. It is our favorite Villa along Lake Como, an area known for spectacular lakeside villas.

9 comments:

brattcat said...

once again a stunning set of images.

Gunn said...

Location-location...
A wonderful place on the planet.
Could have been a perfect setting for making a film....
or do some fashion shooting too.

Gunn / Stavangerdailyphoto.com

Jarart said...

As always,beautiful!

Jack said...

It is an amaziing place, isn't it? Thanks for showing it.

glenda said...

Just beautiful. Coat of arms is very interesting. Does the snake have a child is its grasp? Wow!

Lowell said...

Hard to believe such places exist except in my fevered imagination! Gorgeous. My problem would be leaving once I arrived there. Talk about a photographic venue!

Kate said...

Yes, this is truly a magical place, set off by water to the casual visitor. i'd like to live in the structure that looks like a church. What a life of privilege this must have been!

JM said...

What a setting for this gorgeous villa! Awesome shots.

pratima giri said...

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