Villa Carlotta is a rich museum surrounded by a magnificent botanical garden located in Tremezzo on Lake Como. Here guests have the opportunity to take pleasure in observing art and nature masterpieces that cover an area of 70.000 square meters.
The beautiful villa was built at the end of the XVII century by the Milanese Giorgio Clerici (1575-1660) in a natural basin between lake and mountains, facing the dolomite Grignas and the peninsula of Bellagio. The architect created an important but sober building, with an Italian garden enriched with sculptures, stairs, and fountains. In 1801, the villa was bought by Gian Battista Sommariva, famous politician, businessman, and patron of arts, thanks to whom it attained the summit of its splendor and became one of the most important halting-place of the Grand Tour.
He acquired works by Canova, Thorvaldsen, and Hayez – ‘Palamedes’, ‘Eros and Psyche’, ‘Terpsichore’, ‘The last kiss of Romeo and Juliet’ – and transformed part of the park into a fascinating romantic garden. The villa was sold, in 1843, to Princess Marianne of Nassau, Albert’s of Prussia wife, who gave it as a present to her daughter Carlotta, hence the name, in occasion of her wedding with Georg II of Saxen-Meiningen, who contributed to increase the historical and environmental value of the park enriching it with new species.
The botanical gardens are famous for the spring flowering of rhododendrons and azaleas, of which there are over 150 different varieties. However, they are worth a visit throughout the year thanks to the ancient varieties of camellias, century-old cedars and sequoias, huge planes, tropical plants, the Rock garden, and the Ferns valley, the Rhododendrons wood, the Bamboos garden, and the agricultural tools museum.
Ilona Catani Scarlett