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

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mari Talanova (2 years ago)
Villa Monastero is a must see place in Varenna. Such a beautiful garden and villa. Unfortunately the villa was closed in March but we could enter the garden at the lakeshore abd it was unforgettable. Gorgeous views and atmosphere you can hardly describe with words. Do not miss this chance to see such a beauty when in Como.
Kitty Tömöri (2 years ago)
As reviews mentioned before me it is amazing
Gözde Şafak Emek (2 years ago)
Its a must see. Amazing view and ambiance.. loved it!
Richard Price (3 years ago)
Beautiful spot with commanding views of the lake scenery. You might get caught up stopping for photographs every five minutes though...
Tessa Thompson (3 years ago)
This is a must see. Its garden is beautiful and large. We went a little over an hour and a half walking the garden and Villa. There is a snack area but you can walk 5 minutes into town to eat a bigger selection. You go right by the water and along the cliffs edge. .
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