Monday, August 6, 2012

Villa Balbianello on Lake Como, Part II

"Villa Balbianello is bathed in sunlight all day", sayeth Miss Bentley, a.k.a. Vanessa Redgrave in "A Month by the Lake". 

The villa is at the southern end of the area called the Tremezzina which is the most beautiful part of the lake. A bold statement, perhaps, but an opinion shared by many.

Yesterday I wrote a little bit about the villa itself, and today will be a wander through the grounds.  If I recall correctly, we were not allowed to take photos inside so all of my photos are of the exterior and the gardens.  In the lower left of the photo above you can catch a glimpse of the truly massive plane tree.  It is hand trimmed before winter each year. 

I appreciate very much the fact that this villa also has signs of life.  In the summer they hold weekly cocktail hours, and, you can hold your wedding here and probably fetes as well - all outside, I'd wager.  I heard (perhaps apocryphal) that they allowed Vanessa Redgrave to stay in the villa during the filming of "A Month by the Lake".  If true, she would have been one of the few people to sleep there since the owner died.

Below is the old chapel door.  It is now part of the house.  I think the kitchen lies behind it. 

Below is a private water entrance. 

Below is where the final scene of "Casino Royale" was filmed, and also a Star Wars scene.  The statues are overlooking the Gulf of Venus - aka the start of the Tremezzina. 

Cypress trees, meticulously manicured plane trees, wisteria, box hedges and azaleas (among others) greet you as you wander around the terraced gardens.  Apparently the rocky promontory is not conducive to the typical plants you'd find in an Italian garden but I'd say they did pretty well.

That little gecko blends right in, doesn't he?

The villa is not merely one building, there are several.

And, back to the water gate...

a domani...


BaileyZimmerman said...

F A B U L O U S !!!

Forest Dream Weaver said...

Fantastic building set in magnificent landscape. I can see how creating a garden would have posed a challenge.....although obviously not an impossible one!


Elizabeth said...


Yes, amazing what ingenuity (and a lot of money) will do!

Love Lake Como, love love love it.

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