Villa Carlotta – a famous Villa at Tremezzo on the lakeshore
The ferry comes across from Bellagio to Tremezzo regularly, a pleasant trip across Lago di Como. The Villa has a grand pair of entrance gates in wrought iron with impressive statues on stone columns either side. Visitors enter via a small side gate.The gardener, working busily pulling out a brilliant display of vibrant yellow pansies from the garden beds at the entrance. What a shame! Later the gardener trimmed up the little hedges around the fountain which are a feature all year round. Apparently the pansy display was past its best, the garden beds would now be prepared for the next season.
History of Villa Carlotta
The Clerici family, originally from the north of Lago di Como, were a wealthy family who had made their fortune in the textile trade. Construction of the Villa began in 1690 after Giorgio II inherited the family wealth and social position, after the death of his grandfather Georgio I(1575-1660). Apart from the fabulous riches and wealth, Giorgio II inherited an important social position. He became a senator in 1684, and in 1717 nominated as President of the Senate.
The magnificent Villa on the lakeshore at Tremezzo was built as a symbol of the family’s wealth and success. The Villa was not completed in Giorgio II Clerici’s (1648-1736) lifetime. However his great-grandson, Antonia Giorgio (1715-1768) inherited the enormous family fortune and titles – Baron of Sozzago, Marquis of Cavenago, Knight of the Golden Fleece and Milanese patrician(impressive). Antonia eventually completed the Villa on Lago di Como in 1745.
Antonio lived a very high life and had spent most of the family fortune before he died. Antonia’s daughter was the last of the Clerici’s to own the villa in Tremezzo. She sold the villa in1801 to Gian Battista Sommariva, a famous politician,businessman and patron of the arts. The Sommariva family owned the villa until 1843.
It then sold to Princess Marianne of the Netherlands, wife of Prince Albert of Prussia. Princess Marianne gave it to her daughter, Carlotta as a wedding present when she married Georg Sachsen-Meiningen(1826-1914). The villa, named after Carlotta, became the couples private residence. The couple, keen gardeners introduced a variety of rare and exotic species into the gardens. Sadly Carlotta died at the age of 23 years in 1855. The Villa stayed in the Sachsen-Meiningen family until the outbreak of World War 1.
Ente Villa Carlotta Foundation – Tremezzo on Lago di Como
During World War I, Villa Carlotta came under the managements of an administrator. After a long period of uncertainty, the villa was finally entrusted to the Ente Villa Carlotta, a foundation especially constituted by a royal decree on 12 May 1927. This foundation is responsible for the care of the Villa in Tremezzo. All the entrance fees to visit Villa Carlotta are for the maintenance and conservation of the building, the works of art and the gardens.
Villas with spectacular Gardens on Lago di Como
Both these villas have outstanding gardens. The gardens at Villa Melzi, an English garden designed to create an illusion of distance and space, with informal spacious grounds enhanced with flowering shrubs and trees.
Villa Carlotta is a traditional Italian garden in grand style with stairs, terraces, statues and fountains. The interior of the Villa houses a collection of sculptures including Tadoline’s copy (1834) of Canova’s ‘Cupid and Psyche’, an exquisite piece; as well as tapestries and paintings.
Both Villas have enormous old trees within their grounds, with varieties of cedar, pines, sequoia’s, huge magnolias’, wonderful azaleas and rhododendrons, and a rich variety of exotic tropical plants. Villa Melzi also boast a magnificent drive lined with plane trees along the lakeshore of Lago di Como. Garden lover or not, you will enjoy exploring the grounds of both these Villas, they are different but each with their own beauty and charm.
The Villa and gardens open to the public from April to September. Villa Carlotta has a cafeteria and picnic area.
Adults € 9,00
Seniors (over 65) (with ID) € 5,00
Students (valid document) € 5,00
Children (under 6) free entrance
Both Villas are on the lakeshore of Lago di Como and have mountain views. Certainly worth a visit.
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