Palazzo Gallio Gravedona Lake Como

Property Details
Type of property: Villa - Mansion   Available for: Not Available
Position: Lakeside - Waterfront   Town / Area: Other areas
Living Area [sqm]: 0   Ground Area [sqm]: 0
N° Bathrooms: 0   N° Bedrooms: 0
N° Floors: 0   Price:
Floor Plan Not Available    


Palazzo Gallio is a cardinal’s dwelling built on a rocky promontory projecting out between the mountains and the lake overlooking Gravedona. One of Lake Como’s greatest artistic towns, Gravedona, with its pre-Roman origins, was a prosperous municipality in the Middle Ages and Milan’s ally during the ten-year war.
This magnificent mansion was commission in 1586 by the cardinal and secretary of state Tolomeo Gallio. In recent years it was made part of the Tre Pievi county of Gravedona, Sorico and Dongo. Cardinal Carlo Borromeo entrusted his architect Pellegrino Tibaldi to create the building that wasn’t completed until after 1607, the year of his death. In 1607, the year of Gallio’s death, the palace was passed onto the Dukes of Alvito, his grandsons, who transferred a portion of the furnishings to Naples. The subsequent vicissitudes of the residence weren’t very fortunate: it was even used by the French and the Spanish as a hospital until, in the early nineteenth century, it passed through the hands of various private owners.
Palazzo Gallio currently houses the main offices of the North Western Mountain Community of Lake Como and is the pride of the town of Gravedona. Today, cultural events, shows and exhibitions are held there.
Palazzo Gallio is also known as the palace of the Four Towers. The facade facing the lake has three floors distinguished by three different architectural orders.

The building has the appearance of a fortified castle created out of the closed central plan. Enclosed by angular towers softened by openings and covered roof-terraces, the front facing the lake is pierced by the measured, curvilinear intermittence of three arches that hover above the upper gallery, from where you can enjoy a private yet expansive view of the waters of Lake Como.

The central architectural body is arranged on three rows of windows with triple galleries. At first glance the architectural complex has features reminiscent of medieval defence systems. Its cubic bulk, with square towers at the corners, imposes over the landscape like an ancient fortress that sharply stands out, interrupting the coastline. The facade on the eastern side opens up directly onto the like with a triple order of balconies decorated with motifs with a Doric inspiration. From here the large windows diffuse the light inside an enormous hall, almost 22 metres by 11, spanning from side to side and covering, in height, the space of two floors. This area is followed by a charming row of rooms that articulate the spaces of the building.
Today, the vast, interior central hall which rises up over two floors is used for hosting exhibitions, concerts and meetings.
Laterally, the hall is flanked by other rooms on two floors, connected by galleries. These rooms are used by the North Western Mountain Community of Lake Como and by the municipal library.
On the right side of Palazzo Gallio there was a garden that was cited since 1500 for its rare species. The current garden, on the other hand, which was changed extensively, is arranged on the fortified bastions of the ancient castle, and is Italian-style with small flowerbeds. From here the staircase leads directly down to the pier.
The Palazzo does not house lavish furnishings and works of art, presumably because construction work wasn’t completed until after the client’s death. Therefore it was never used for the purpose the owner had intended it for.
Palazzo Gallio is located in Gravedona, one of the most important towns in the northern area of the lake, situated in a cove at the mouth of the Liro Valley, opposite the Piona peninsula and Mt. Legnone. It is also located just a short distance from Switzerland.
A touristic and industrial town with an illustrious historic past, with Dongo and Sorico it formed the territory of the Tre Pievi. Gravedona, lying on a scenic bay, is one of the most popular destinations of foreign tourists as it offers some of the most beautiful walks in the entire lake region and for the numerous water sports on the lake practiced in the area, particularly windsurfing and kite surfing.
Over the centuries the town has maintained its original urban layout characterised by the religious area, the lakeside promenade and the area near the old castle.