Villa Monastero

Varenna, Italy

Villa Monastero, located on the shore of Lake Como, includes a botanical garden, a museum, and a convention center. Villa Monastero is an eclectic villa built in the Nordic style. The site was originally a Cistercian convent, founded at the end of the 12th century in Varenna, which now lies beneath the modern building. The convent grew in importance and wealth, purchasing many properties, especially around Lierna, but eventually declined to only six mothers, and was closed by papal bull in 1567.

The whole estate was purchased by Paolo Mornico in 1569, using his fortune amassed through iron mining in Valsassinia. In the 17th century the Mornico family incrementally rebuilt and decorated it in the eclectic style.

Walter Kees of Leipzig bought the villa in the 1890s, and between 1897 and 1909 carried out modifications which give its current style. Some of the architects involved include Emilio Alemagna, Achille Majnoni, and Enrico Citterio, the construction itself was overseen by G. Bertarini of Varenna. The final phase of construction expanded the garden, with the cooperation of Enrico Achler of Menaggio.

In 1936 the Milanese De Marchi family, originally from Switzerland, donated the villa to the public and it became a museum. In 1940 the gardens were opened to the public, and in 1953 the conference center was created.

A museum house was set up within Villa Monastero, and opened to the public in 2003. The monumental part of the house was already completed by 1996, with 14 rooms featuring original decorations and furniture from its various owners. The museum house also contains a collection of optical, electronic, and mechanical instruments originally belonging to Giovanni Polvani.

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Details

Founded: 17th century
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Italy

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en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Gabriele Lopez (3 months ago)
Working as a wedding photographer is about meeting, interacting and knowing people. Even a work as an engagement portrait photography session in Lake Como Area, in the Varenna’s Villa Monastero session may become a chance for meeting individuals, listen to their story and while my focus will be to frame a little story in a digital or celluloid analog rectangle, I strongly believe that we as wedding photographer end up, or should end up, in learning something more than getting a bank deposit. It’s people coming from far away, this time was Siria. Learning, understanding, observing and listening. Doing this in this wonderful location makes it really better and better.
Gabriele Lopez (3 months ago)
Working as a wedding photographer is about meeting, interacting and knowing people. Even a work as an engagement portrait photography session in Lake Como Area, in the Varenna’s Villa Monastero session may become a chance for meeting individuals, listen to their story and while my focus will be to frame a little story in a digital or celluloid analog rectangle, I strongly believe that we as wedding photographer end up, or should end up, in learning something more than getting a bank deposit. It’s people coming from far away, this time was Siria. Learning, understanding, observing and listening. Doing this in this wonderful location makes it really better and better.
Jenofefa Bajecna (7 months ago)
Beautiful
Jenofefa Bajecna (7 months ago)
Beautiful
Aleksandra Kłapcińska (7 months ago)
It's a perfect place to admire the beauty of the lake. The architecture and variety of plants make it even more beautiful. The whole gardens are pretty long, so it take at least 15m to walk to the end. But definitely worth it. A number of nice benches to seat on the way.
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