It’s Saturday morning and I’m sitting down with a coffee finally getting chance to look back through the pics from our whirlwind trip to Lake Como (I say whirlwind as it definitely flew by too quickly!)
I headed out to Lake Como for 5 glorious days with Mr T (my now fiancée –OMG- did I mention we got engaged? more about that in later posts!) We stayed in the area of Lezzeno in an airbnb apartment with breathtaking views overlooking to lake.
On my Lake Como list of things to do was to visit Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo on the banks of Lake Como, as a keen gardener I’d read about the luscious botanical gardens at Villa Carlotta and could not wait to see them for myself.
We jumped on one of the regular lake ferries from Lezenno to Tremezzo (3.50euro) which passed by the Villa del Balbianello an impressive villa that juts out into the lake featured at the end of Casino Royal and was also used for one of the Star Wars films. The ferries are by far the best way to travel to and from each of the small towns surrounding Lake Como.
Villa Carlotta is a five-minute walk from the ferry stop at Tremezzo so we strolled along the lake edge, it’s lovely when the leaves on the trees are turning to the colours of autumn but the sun is still high in the sky.
Villa Carlotta is a pristine grand white villa facing the Bellagio peninsula sat on the shore of Lake Como and dates back to 1690, the approach is every bit as impressive as the interior and the gardens. Walking through the gates Villa Carlotta towers above you with steep sweeping steps, manicured hedgerows and an opulent fountain.
Villa Carlotta was built for the Milanese marquis Giorgio Clerici before being given to Princess Marianna of Prussia’s daughter Charlotte as a wedding present after whom the villa was named.
The interior of Villa Carlotta is grand with mosaic floors and highly decorated ceilings (always remember to look up!) The first and second floors of the villa retain the original décor with silk wallpapers and ornate antique Italian furniture. On the second floor you’ll also find exhibitions relating to horticulture, at the time of our visit the exhibition documented the many varieties of fungi/ mushrooms from the edible to the poisonous.
After his wife Carlotta’s death Georges II Sachesn-Meiningen’s remained deeply in love with his villa and the library still showcases some of his botanical books that inspired him during the transformation of the gardens and surrounding park area.
Lead by a grassy winding path through the parkland and gardens you’ll see an impressive selection of specimens from the Rhododendron woods, camellias, a Japanese bamboo garden, palm trees, thousands of established cacti, azaleas, fern valley, rock garden and cascading waterfall. The botanical gardens are a theatre of greenery and bright colours.
Following our day out at Villa Carlotta we hopped back on the evening ferry as the sun was setting. Lake Como is one of those rare parts of the world where no matter which direction you turn there’s a picture perfect moment, it’s often difficult to resist whipping out your camera but sometimes you just have to stop, breath and admire the majesty of the scenery. Bliss.
More about Villa Carlotta HERE