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Villa del Balbianello
Villa del Balbianello

Villa del Balbianello

Via Comoedia 5, Tremezzina, Como, Italy, 22016

The Basics

The villa was built in 1787 on the site of a Franciscan monastery, but by the early 20th century the buildings and grounds had fallen into a state of neglect. American businessman Butler Ames bought and refurbished the villa in 1919, creating the elaborate terraced gardens that you can see today. In 1974 Italian explorer Count Guido Monzino purchased the villa and decorated it with collections of Chinese and African art, French furniture, and other artifacts from his expeditions before leaving the estate to the FAI (Italy’s National Trust) upon his death in 1988.

By far the best way to appreciate the estate is by taking a guided tour that offers insights into the history of the villa and explores both the impressive interiors and the extensive gardens. Consider opting for a private tour that combines Villa del Balbianello with visits to Villa Melzi and Villa Carlotta, also on the shores of Lake Como.

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Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Walking and Boating Full-Day Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Walking and Boating Full-Day Tour
$326.54 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Amazingly beautiful
This was a wonderful tour, very informative. The tour guide was excellent and spoke perfect English. I would highly recommend this tour.
Cynthia_L, Sep 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Lake Como

star-5
Great knowledge, good company
nick_j, Oct 2020
The best of Como lake: Como city walking tour and Villa Balbianello
We had a fantastic day with Violetta. She knew so much about the subject and shared so much with us, assuring the tour as required and taking lots of photos for us. Thank you
star-4
Como Tour
helenaheppner74, Oct 2019
Como Lake Highlights - Villa Balbianello & Bellagio private full-day tour
Violetta was a local, friendly and knowledgeable tour guide for the beautiful Lake Como region. Her command of the English language was wonderful and she was always able to answer all our questions. A few misunderstandings at and during the tour made for some frustrating waits, but overall very well done.
star-4
Wonderful day on Lake Como
judith k, Sep 2019
Como Lake Highlights - Villa Balbianello & Bellagio private full-day tour
Violetta was a great guide for our wonderful day on Lake Como. We set our own pace and she was flexible with our interests. She is sweet and charming and extremely knowledgeable. At the end of the trip she stayed with us for a long time until we could get a taxi--service above and beyond!
star-5
Interesting Fun Day
dlimarenko, Sep 2019
Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Walking and Boating Full-Day Tour
This tour far exceeded our expectations. The pace was just right for a full day tour with a wonderful lunch
star-5
Fantastic Tour!
gui8882019, Aug 2019
Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Walking and Boating Full-Day Tour
Great value for money and the staff was great! A lot to see in one day, but well worth it. The transportation was perfect.
star-5
Enjoyable Experience
zinniaoh, Aug 2019
Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Walking and Boating Full-Day Tour
Alessandra, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable about the Lake Como area and our group learnt a lot about the area especially Varenna. The tour of Villa Balbianello was quite an interesting and amazing experience. We covered so much in one day. It is definitely worthwhile and totally recommend it to all who come to Lake Como.
star-5
Lake Como in Depth
Resort01849212773, Jun 2019
Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Walking and Boating Full-Day Tour
This tour gave us an overall familiarity with the various locales on the lake, included an awesome lunch in a beautiful upscale hotel restaurant, as well as an informative tour of Villa Balbianello, not only the beautifully landscaped grounds, but the extremely interesting story of the owner who built it. We were provided transportation from our ferry drop off point as well as useful recommendations as to which boat to take in order to make the tour on time. Worth the price.
star-5
lake como food tour
stekda, Jun 2019
Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Walking and Boating Full-Day Tour
enjoyed this tour. food was delicious and guide was knowledgeable.. learned alot about the lake como region in a fun way
star-5
Really good
Nomad29044365488, Jun 2019
Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Walking and Boating Full-Day Tour
The tour guide was really nice. Villa balbianello was really great. So was the varrena tour and food served.
star-5
All in one tour
Joepar, Jun 2019
Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Walking and Boating Full-Day Tour
This tour was a great way to experience a bit of all the things you want to see and do at Lake Como in one tour. Get out on the water, visit the top Villa, lunch with an incredible view as well as wine and food tasting with some history. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable, friendly, well versed in English and a true joy to spend time with.
star-5
Lovely day on Lake Como
BHShrink, May 2019
Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Walking and Boating Full-Day Tour
My husband and I had a great day with another friendly couple and excellent tour guide. We are so glad we chose this tour—it really was one of the highlights of our trip.
star-5
In May we had a amazing day visiting...
Carolyn D, Sep 2017
Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Walking and Boating Full-Day Tour
In May we had a amazing day visiting an touring Lake Como with a family cousin. The rainy weather conditions didn't deter our beautiful day touring the lake an lovely lunch enroute. Our guide was very informative an a very pleasant thank you Bob an Carolyn Australia an Slagia Verona Italy

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Villa del Balbianello and its beautiful grounds are especially interesting for avid gardeners and photographers.

  • If you are joining a tour of Lake Como’s villas, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.

  • Parts of the villa and gardens are accessible to wheelchair users, but many tours include access on foot and by taxi boat, which may not be suitable for those with limited mobility or a wheelchair.

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How to Get There

The most scenic way to approach Villa del Balbianello is on foot from Lenno, a 25-minute walk with excellent views of the lake as well as over the towns of Tremezzo and Lenno. You can also take a small-group boat tour or water taxi from Lenno, Varenna, Sala Comacina, Ossuccio, or one of the other towns along the lake shore.

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When to Get There

Villa del Balbianello is open on Tuesday and Thursday through Sunday. Spring and fall are the best seasons to visit, as the gardens are verdant and can be enjoyed without the summer crowds.

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Villa del Balbianello and Hollywood

This dramatic villa has been used as a location for a number of movies, includingStar Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and the James Bond filmCasino Royale.

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