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“Tourist packed, but lovely” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Villa Balbianello

Villa Balbianello
Via Comoedia 5, 22016 Lenno, Italy
0344 56110
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Ranked #1 of 5 Attractions in Lenno
Type: Architectural Buildings, Castles, Historic Sites, Gardens, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: Built in the late 16th century and only reached by boat from Sala Comacina, this magnificent villa is known for its picturesque gardens, which exclusively feature flowers and trees the colors of the Italian flag: green, white and red.
Union City, New Jersey, United States
Top Contributor
569 reviews 569 reviews
148 attraction reviews
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165 helpful votes 165 helpful votes
“Tourist packed, but lovely”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

Our best view of the Villa came from a boat rented from AC Boat Rentals. From the lake, it is absolutely stunning, especially on a day when it is closed to tourists. The Villa is beautiful, and recognizable from Star Wars and Casino Royale.

We then visited the next day (a Tuesday when the walk from Lenno is open) and took the short hike from the lake up. You can also take a ferry boat from Lenno, but since we had already seen it from the lake, we opted to walk up. We opted for just the garden ticket rather than the building tour as well. We explored the entire Villa in about half an hour, but really enjoyed the more secluded parts of the garden that weren't overrun with tourists. The areas by the bannisters over the lake are the most scenic and romantic, but difficult to get a clear picture without someone walking through. My suggestion would be to go early.

Visited July 2013
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Lecco
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Boat trip on Como Lake”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Certainly worth seeing if you can get in because these places are usually closed and if open costly........

Visited September 2012
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ireland
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183 reviews 183 reviews
79 attraction reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
353 helpful votes 353 helpful votes
“PARADISE”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

The villa is definitely the most stunning on the lake, and it's up against some beautiful competition.
We took a water taxi tour from Bellagio, priced at 50euro each.
This included a tour of the inside (which was quite dull to tell you the truth.) The insides are very 1970's style, all very dark browns and were designed for a very, very, very rich guy who loved deep browns and dark interiors and it's so jarring with the stunningly beautful exteriors.
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones filmed scenes here, principally, the wedding scenes at the end when Anakin Skywalker marries Padme Amidala. Go watch the clip on You Tube before you go and then re-create it in your own photo.
Stunning grounds with stunning views of the lake and surrounds, I'd spend about 2 hours here just marvelling at the surroundings and it's so wonderful to arrive by boat. This place really is paradise.

Visited July 2013
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Brisbane, Australia
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Reviews in 92 cities Reviews in 92 cities
341 helpful votes 341 helpful votes
“Take a tour, you won't regret it.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

Recently while we were staying at Varenna, we caught a ferry over the lake to Lenno, from here we walked along the promenade towards Villa Balbianello. We had hoped to walk all the way into the villa but the gates are only open on certain days, instead we had to catch a water taxi around to the Villa. It cost us 7 euro each for a return ticket.

On arrival at Villa Balbianello we purchase our ticket for the visit, we were asked if we wanted to join a guided tour, my recommendation is to take the tour. Prior to the tour we wander around the stunning gardens with views over the lake. We were keen to find parts of the garden which had been used in scenes from Stars Wars II and Casino Royale.

We had a lovely young Italian guide who was also fluent in English and French, she was fabulous, explaining to us the history of the complex, how the site had been the home of Franciscan friars up until the 16th century. Then in the late 18th century Cardinal Durini built the Villa and the Loggia. The villa has passed between many hands until its last owner, a wealthy Italian businessman bachelor. He was a avid collector and explorer, the villa is now a private museum full of the owners souvenirs from expeditions to the north pole, art collections, as well as showcasing his wealthy life style, his office, library, living quarters, etc.

Today the Villa is well looked after by an Italian trust group, the property is well kept and a delight to visit.

Visited May 2013
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55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Beautiful Villa”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

Visited when we were staying in Bellagio. Took the ferry over and then took the special boat to the Villa. The grounds were very beautiful and the English tour offered was very interesting. The view and beautiful vines and grounds alone made the trip worth it

Visited August 2012
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