Villa Erba Lake Como

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


Villa Erba, built in the late nineteenth century, formed the main part of the property annexed to the Convent of Santa Maria Assunta of Cernobbio, which was run by the nuns of the Cluniac Benedictine order. It is said that one of the first descriptions of this villa dates back to the 15th century, where the villa housed approximately 25 nuns.

Anna Brivio and the aristocrat Luigi Erba (brother and heir to Carlo Erba) purchased the magnificent villa on Lake Como in 1882. The Erba family often stayed in Cernobbio, receiving important guests, artists and celebrities from the political and industrial world. Villa Erba hosted numerous musical evenings, concerts and parties during the early years of the century. When the couple died, the property was passed onto their daughter Carla, who married Duke Giuseppe Visconti of Modrone, and thus the mother of the renowned director Luchino Visconti, who lived in the villa but died four years later.

The Visconti heirs sold the villa and the majority of the surrounding land in 1986 to a public consortium which purchased it with the intention of converting it into the present-day exhibition and conference centre frequented by many important figures and celebrities.
A restoration project began in January 2003 to restore this nineteenth-century stately home to its former splendour.

Villa Erba in its present form, designed by the architects Borsani and Savoldi, has a lavish and imposing character and is built on the lake, surrounded by a broad, flat basin.

The complex includes a concierge, manor house, servant’s residence and guest house, greenhouse, dock and stables.
The central building consists of a square layout with wide steps leading down to the lake, an entrance portico and a lookout tower, typical of this period, which joins the manor with the servant’s wing, a construction with an architectural style rather distinct from the main building.
Each room of the two-story building is richly decorated by the works of Angelo Lorenzoli who created, aided by the frescoes by Ernesto Fontana, the set of colourful friezes, stucco work, colourful ceramic flooring and precious woods. He also included into the architectural setting unique furnishing solutions and reused ancient artwork to decorate the walls and ceilings.

Other elements of interest include various furnishings, such as the double set of seventeenth-century choir stalls in the library and the precious “Cordova Leather” finishes, finely crafted and surmounted by a crowning frieze of putti oil paintings on canvas that characterise the so-called Japanese parlour or tea room.

Several paintings are included in the decoration of walls and ceilings including the famous detached frescoes in the party room, attributed to Johann Christoph Storer, who worked in Lombardy in 1600, and the decorations by Angiolo D'Andrea, a famous painter of Milan’s Belle Epoque. The two large portraits of the villa’s first owners, Luigi Erba and Anna Brivio, both by Cesare Tallone, are located at the bottom of the staircase leading up to the first floor where the rooms, even with more of a domestic tone and less imposing than the lavish decor on the ground floor, have refined decorations on the walls, floors and ceilings nonetheless and preserve important paintings such as the round oil painting with the eighteenth century Madonna, inserted into the wall panelling.

The outdoor areas immediately adjacent to Villa Erba are full of mythological and historical works by the sculptor Mazzuchelli, like the two lions on both sides of the carriage entrance on the west side, towards the garden.

Today, the large halls on the ground floor are available for hosting gala events, banquets, concerts and exclusive events, while various rooms on the first floor serve as the offices for the company that manages the international trade show and convention centre. The multimedia museum dedicated to Luchino Visconti can also be found on this floor. The vast park surrounding the building is the result of the care of past owners who were passionately dedicated to the garden which they embellished with exotic trees.

The park on Lake Como surrounds the exhibition centre and the villa with its 100,000m2 of secular trees and flat lawns, providing a natural theatre for outdoor concerts, festivals and events.

Even the extensive area of the Galoppatoio, or riding track, is suitable for hosting cultural or sporting events and is equipped with a helicopter landing ground.

The Exhibition centre offers an extremely modern take on the antique greenhouses that flank the lakeside villas. Rounded domes in glass, cement and steel fully respect the environment of the surrounding park. A walk through their interiors offers a continuously changing and breathtaking view of the lake, the dock, the villa, the verdant grounds, canals and artificial lakes. Features include low ceilings, floors in travertine and bright rooms where you can open the windows and glass doors. The rooms are sound proof, providing the sensation of being completely immersed in nature.

The heart of Villa Erba conserves a historic piece of Italian cinema and culture, a museum of international renown known as “The Rooms of Luchino Visconti”, which opened inside the museum on 25 July 2005. An exhibit that allows visitors to relive the strong bond between the director and the villa. This is where Luchino enjoyed wonderfully carefree moments during the long summers of his youth in company of his siblings and his mother. The museum is open to visitors upon reservation and represents a special experience to offer guests.
Villa Erba is unique from every point of view, boasting a vast park filled with age-old trees and rare plants, located in the lovely little town of Cernobbio, which stands before Lake Como.

Reserved and easy to reach. Rich with atmosphere and offering every service, located just a few minutes from Como, a short distance from Milan and near Switzerland.