Villa Il Balbiano is an exceptional and historical palazzo, the perfect venue for family vacation or weddings on breathtaking Lake Como, Italy. Situated on the western shore of Lake Como, the Villa is in the town of Ossuccio, approximately 20kms north of the town of Como.
Villa Giovio Balbiano was built by Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio at the end of the16th century, after the drawings of Pellegrino Tibaldi, and was enlarged and embellished by Cardinal Durini in the 18th century.
In 1637, Marco Gallio, changed the layout of the grounds in order to obtain enough space to create the Italian garden.
In 1787, the property was sold to Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini, papal nuncio, a lover of arts and letters, patron and collector. He made the Villa an authentic place of delight by enlarging the house and garden, erecting statues and fountains, and opening new avenues between hedges and pergolas.
The facade, with simple and sober lines, punctuated by gray stone ornamental carvings, is directly reflected in the water of Lake Como. All around stand statues and fountains. From the Strada Regina, a nymph flowered of blue iris leads to the path to the main house, lined with box hedges, where plane trees and cypresses grow.
In the late 18th century Balbiano hosted a gallant and frivolous society where festivals, banquets and dances followed one another relentlessly. The lounges housed recitation meetings, concerts or literary discussions. Inside, the spectacular baroque frescoes by the Recchi brothers in the early 17th century can still be seen. In the lobby, Cardinal Durini installed its rich library, known to all scholars of the time. Nearby, where the river empties into Perlana’s lake, the pipe works commissioned by Durini to stem the flow of water can still be admired.
The property can host up to 28 people.
6 luxury suites in the main palace - 12 guests
4 additional bedrooms in the left wing - 8 guests
4 bedrooms in the adjacent Villino - 8 guests
MAIN PALACE INTERIOR DESCRIPTION
The palatial interior contains 6460 sq. ft, over three floors recently fully renovated by the French decorator Jacques Garcia.
The main entrance leads to the magnificent lobby decorated with original frescoes, surrounded by a dining room, a library, a winter garden and three salons.
All these rooms have marble floors and original frescoes on the walls and ceilings. Adjacent are the services rooms: the kitchen and a covered terrace with working fireplace for outdoor dining.
On the first floor, the lake view gallery leads to the studio, the master suite and the guest suite surrounds the Cathedral ceiling Central Salon.
A further marble staircase leads to the second-floor accommodations, comprising four luxurious bedrooms ensuite with their marble bathrooms, overlooking the Cathedral ceiling Central Salon.
All the rooms are beautifully furnished with antiques.
A boat can be rented and parked in the private dockyard to enjoy the charms of the lake.
Detailed description of each suite:
• Suite 1: Double bedroom, en suite marble bathroom with shower and bathtub, TV
• Suite 2: Double bedroom, en suite marble bathroom with shower, Safe, TV
• Suite 3: Double bedroom, en suite marble bathroom with shower and bathtub, TV
• Suite 4: Double bedroom, en suite marble bathroom with shower and bathtub, TV
• Suite 5: Double bedroom, en suite marble bathroom with shower, Lounge area, TV
• Suite 6: Master double bedroom, en suite bathroom with shower and bathtub, Terrace
FEATURES AND SERVICES
Safe in each bedroom
Fully equipped pro kitchen
Private access to the lake
2 boat houses
Secure parking area
Reverse cycle AC/heating
Fully integrated security system
2 swimming pools (one inside and one outside)
Cook, Concierge, Maids and Gardeners
MAIN PALACE - LEFT WING DESCRIPTION
Completely renovated this part of the property sleeps up to 8 people in 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
• Bedroom 1: Double bedroom, shared access to bathroom (shower) with bedroom 2, TV
• Bedroom 2: Double bedroom, shared access to bathroom (shower) with bedroom 1, TV
• Bedroom 3: Double bedroom, shared access to bathroom (shower) with bedroom 4, TV
• Bedroom 4: Double bedroom, shared access to bathroom (shower) with bedroom 3, TV
This lovely independent house is located in the back part of the garden. It sleeps up to 8 people, in 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms.
• Bedroom 1: Double bedroom, en suite bathroom with shower and bathtub
• Bedrooms 2: Double bedroom, en suite bathroom with shower and bathtub
• Bedroom 3: Double bedroom, en suite bathroom with shower
• Bedroom 4: Double bedroom, en suite bathroom with shower
Please note that this house is simpler than the other accommodations.
. Water skiing, Windsurfing, Boat rentals
. Mountain rock climbing, walking & biking
. Sightseeing in Como/Milan/Lugano, Shopping in Milan
. Cooking Lessons, Wine Tasting, Golf
The Villa is in the town of Ossuccio, approximately 20kms north of the town of Como. Lake Como measures 146km2 (91 square miles) and is the third largest Italian lake. It is completely surrounded by mountains, the highest of which is Monte Legnone (2609m – 8560ft.)
Because the lake’s Alpine ridge resists the northern winds and its great mass of water tends to reduce sudden drops in temperature, Lake Como is particularly renowned for its generally mild and moist climate which contributes to the lushness of its shore line.
The lake’s winter climate is never very harsh, and the summer heat is hardly ever stifling because of this extensive vegetation.
Also because of these unique climatic characteristics, the flora along the lakeside is varied, abundant and similar to Mediterranean vegetation: cypress and laurel trees, camellias, azaleas, rhododendrons, magnolias, and palm trees.
In fact in some more wet and sheltered areas, tropical and sub-tropical vegetation can be found. Very few other Italian localities offer such environmental variety. In a few kilometers one goes from the mountains to the lake, from alpine valleys to small hills. A boat can be rented and parked in the private garage to enjoy the charms of the lake. The major international airports around are Milan-Malpensa and Milan-Linate (both an hour drive away). For private aviation, the closest airport is Lugano in Switzerland (45 minutes away).