ACCOMODATIONS: 30 overnight
CAPACITY: Courtyard - 500 seated, Main Terrace - 300 seated, Sheltered Garden - 300 seated, Secret Garden - 100 seated, Lobby - 70 seated, Winter Garden - 50 seated
BOAT ACCESS: Yes
HOTELS NEARBY: Hilton Lake Como, Sheraton Lake Como, Villa D'Este, Vista Palazzo, Palace Hotel
DISTANCE FROM COMO CITY CENTER: 28km
Villa Balbiano is located in the small village of Ossuccio and it is one of the most beautiful villas on the western shore of Lake Como, just 30 minutes from the city center. The Villa was built in the 16th century and was home to Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio who acted as papal secretary of state for Pope Gregory XIII.
In 1787 the Villa was acquired by Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini who enlarged it and used it to host frivolous parties. After several changes in ownership, the Villa was bought by a German engineer, Hermann Hartlaub. He initiated the first restoration work. Once again, Villa Balbiano changed proprietary as it was bought by Michele Canepa, a silk business owner, in 1982. The ownership changed again in 2011 and since then, there has been a lot of modernization and restoration works.
Having walked the villa myself, I can tell you that it is in perfect shape, all fine art and furniture from Sotheby’s and Christie’s have been restored and new features have been added to the Villa to accommodate the most punctilious guest. Villa Balbiano today has a private pier, a boathouse, an outdoor pool (as well as a small one indoor) and a beautiful garden which was distinguished by the British Society of Garden Designer.
If you love lush gardens and breathtaking frescoes, you will not be disappointed by Villa Balbiano that is also my favorite Villa for weddings.