Villa Olmo Lake Como

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


Villa Olmo is a splendid neoclassical villa located on the shores of Lake Como.Its name derives from an hundred years old elm tree, today no more existing. Its name derives from a century-old elm (known as “olmo” in Italian), planted by Pliny the Younger, no longer in existence.
This is the most celebrated and sumptuous of the historic residences of Como, making the city one of the driving forces of Enlightenment in Italy. Simone Cantoni was successful in interpreting the needs of a cultured and progressive aristocracy, bringing good taste to those buildings “remodelled in the modern fashion” while fully embracing the ideas of the Enlightenment at a time when Lombardy was one of the liveliest areas in Europe.
The architect was attuned to the personality of the client, the Marquis Innocenzo Odescalchi, who returned from Rome in 1780 and decided to launch a cultural renewal project for the entire Como area, which included the construction of a suburban villa in keeping with the reforms of the enlightened thinkers.
Simone Cantoni was the most famous member of a family of architects of the Ticino canton of Switzerland, who left behind refined works expressing the lofty aesthetic and compositional values associated with the expression "good taste".
Villa Olmo, the construction of which began at the end of the eighteenth century and ended in 1812, passed from the hands of the Odescalchi family to the Raimondi, to the Visconti of Modrone and finally, in 1925, to the Municipality that uses it to host cultural events and art exhibitions. It served as a “showcase” that allowed Cantoni to successfully build a series of country residences, such as Villa Giovio in Breccia and Villa Odescalchi in Fino Mornasco. In his later years he built the Maggiore Seminary and the “Alessandro Volta” secondary school of classical studies in Como.
The owners that came after the villa’s original proprietor Innocenzo Odescalchi expanded the building, adding wings without altering the building’s style.
Villa Olmo, the main facade of which overlooks the Lake Como, is made up by a central building (the original villa) punctuated by columns and pilasters and surmounted by a terrace with statues, and by two lateral wings.
The inside of the building is decorated by various ornaments: stuccoes, gilding, statues and frescoes by artists from the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Some of the most wonderfully decorated rooms include the small theatre (1883) which seats 92 people and frescoes by Fontana. In the park we find a small neoclassical temple and a small stream.
In the centre of the garden the fountain rises up in front of the villa, depicting two children playing with a sea monster, created by the sculptor G. Odofrechi.
An exhibition of designs by the Como architect Antonio Sant'Elia (1886-1916) is set up in the attic. Some of the villa’s most illustrious guests included Napoleon and Garibaldi.
Today the villa belongs to the Municipality of Como that, after restoration work, uses the property for hosting cultural events.
The tradition continues on today, with events of high international calibre known as The Great Exhibitions of Villa Olmo, which annually hosts some of the finest art collections in the world: from Mirò to Picasso, from Magritte to Rubens, including Boldini. If you are planning a holiday on Lake Como in summer, you can admire the beauty of Villa Olmo by pairing it with a visit to one of these refined art exhibitions. Their works have been hosted in the wonderful rooms of the eighteenth-century villa, allowing visitors to enjoy not only the figurative arts on display, but to enter an exclusive property, unique for its beauty and elegance.

In this marvellous setting featuring art, culture, history and unique landscapes, you will find the Villa Olmo Restaurant, a blend of simplicity and elegance that characterise the refined yet informal ambience of this restaurant.