Villa Monastero Lake Como

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


Villa Monastero overlooks the western shores of Lake Como, on an outcrop that stretches from Varenna towards Fiumelatte, representing one of today’s most interesting examples of eclectic style residences. The interventions carried out between the late nineteenth and early twentieth century added functional and decorative elements without destroying traces of the building’s history, thereby creating a villa with a spectacular garden.
Villa Monastero was created out of ongoing restoration work of the ancient Cistercian women’s monastery of Santa Maria, the earliest known evidence of which dates back to a document dated 1208. It’s likely that its foundation was an attempt to relate to the religious settlements on the opposite side of the lake.
In 1566 the archbishop Carlo Barromeo decided to transfer the last six nuns still residing in Varenna to the Cistercian monastery in Lecco. Consequently in 1569 the lakeside villa was sold to Paolo Mornico.

The building has maintained the general layout of the ancient church, which coincides with the Fermi conference room. The only surviving decoration is a small frescoed “Pietà” painted in the late Gothic period and inserted into the niche of a window.
The garden constitutes Villa Monastero’s most popular attraction, both for its historic importance and a place for visitors to relax.

The arrangement of the land into terraces favoured the articulation of the garden into a sequence of different squares with various recurring elements, such as rows of cypress trees along the villa’s main drive way, which characterise the environment, the cedars of Lebanon, or the evergreen hedges.
Of particular interest are the exotic tree species scattered throughout the garden, which also attest to Varenna’s favourable climate: African and American palms, agaves, yuccas, dragon trees, citrus and oleanders, in addition to certain rare botanical species and the large collection of citrus trees.

Even the architectural elements that decorate the park meet the same standard of variety: balustrades, statutes, temples, vases, fountains and wellheads are reminiscent of the Baroque, Classical and Moorish styles.

Among the garden furnishings the most valuable piece is the sculpture of The Clemency of Titus, made by the neoclassical artist Giovanni Battista Comolli, brought here by Walter Kees in the late nineteenth century.
Today Villa Monastero is an internationally renowned Conference Centre offering organisations, universities, businesses, associations and research centres the opportunity to hold conferences, seminars, training courses, workshops and other cultural events in an extremely evocative setting.
The Villa has a large main hall (the "Fermi" room, dedicated to the Nobel Prize winner who conducted various lessons at Villa Monastero) rich with marble and a charming view of the lake. Both versatile and functional, the hall is equipped with a modern heating and air conditioning system and can accommodate up to 100 people.
Minor rooms are available for smaller work groups, also offering views of the lake, combining functionality with the charm and tranquillity of the setting.
Today, Villa Monastero, with its extremely panoramic position at the centre of the lake and with its splendid backdrop of flower gardens, is where study and research activities are held and where important meetings and conferences take place throughout the year. These activities are promoted and managed by the Villa Monastero Institute, an instrumental organisation of the Province of Lecco.
Thanks to extensive restoration work on the structure, fourteen rooms have been set up, all of which can be visited today, where the furnishings have been placed in their original position, some of which have been restored, such as the tapestries and select pieces of furniture.
In 2003 Villa Monastero was awarded the prestigious recognition of “House Museum” from the Region of Lombardy, thanks to its artistic treasures, original restored furnishings and the property’s historical and architectural context. In relation to its function as a house museum, special educational paths have been designed for school groups who flock here in great numbers to visit this lakeside residence, which counts more than thirty thousand visitors a year.
Villa Monastero rises up in the lovely town of Varenna, a picturesque village rich with artistic monuments, on the western shores of Lake Como and is a tourist destination that is also prized for its amazing views of the natural surroundings and landscape. The town is dominated by a mountain peak, where the ancient Vezio Castle stands on its summit..
Located approximately 70 km from Milan and 30 km from Como by car, the town is well connected to major cities thanks to the highly efficient roadways and the area’s hotels are able to satisfy every type of need.