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“A place of rare harmony!”

i Giardini di Villa Melzi
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Owner description: National Monument and Private Gardens This magnificent villa, built in 1808 for the Duke Francesco Melzi d'Eril, assistant to General Napoleon, is one of the most emblematic examples of neo-classicism in Lombardy.....The Gardens Are visitable March to October every day 9.30 am to' 6.30 pm
Reviewed December 7, 2012

Spilling down to Lake Como as the Villa Melzi does, it is a perfect place to spend about a couple of hours on a sunny day. The gardens are absolutely fascinating. They are abundant with trees and flowers whose aroma is simply incredible. The panoramic views over the lake are also superb.

The villa was built by Francesco Melzi d'Eril, vice-president of the Italian Republic at the time of Napoleon. The work lasted two years, from 1808 to 1810.

Although originally built by Francesco Meltzi, it passed into the hands of the Gallarati Scotti. Interestingly enough, however, Ludovico Melzi (a descendant of Francesco Melzi) married Joséphine Barbò, by whom he had two daughters. His favourite daughter married Giancarlo Gallarati Scotti, and through marriage she brought back to the Melzi’s the villa in Bellagio.

Beautiful sculptures are spread all through the park. Egyptian antiquities and Roman statues add to the romantic atmosphere of the garden.

The monument of Dante and Beatrice is imposing. The story of the great Italian poet and Beatrice is one of the greatest tales of unrequited, distant love and that is represented in the sculpture. As the subject of Dante’s inspiration, Beatrice stands much higher than Dante. Beatrice looks semi-divine. Does this represent the moment when she guides Dante during his journey through the Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, as described in The Divine Comedy? It is said that this sculpture inspired Franz Liszt, while a guest at the villa, to compose his Dante Sonata.

The Melzi family chapel is also worth a visit. This is a Palladian style temple and it has some remarkable sculptural works.

We reached the villa by car. There is a small car park for visitors in front of the gate of the villa. The other option is to park in Bellagio’s city centre and to walk to the villa.

The admission fee of 6 Euros allows one to see the gardens only. The villa itself is not open to the public as the current owners, the Scotti family, still use it as a summer residence. Its elegant style and simple lines make the villa a wonderful asset to the gardens and the surrounding countryside.

The villa offers stunning views to the other side of Lake Como – you can see Tremezzo and Villa Carlotta. Villa Melzi is located exactly opposite Villa Carlotta. It was interesting to learn that there was a competition between the owners of the two villas, Duke Francesco Melzi and Giambattista Sommariva to see who could build the finest villa. Both men were also political rivals. Melzi was preferred by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 as vice-president of the Italian Republic. Politically defeated by Melzi, Sommariva tried to re-acquire his lost prestige by assembling an extraordinary art collection (which can be seen at Carlotta Villa).

The competition between the two men was also beneficial – it led to continual embellishment of both residences and their gardens. It is quite amusing to imagine how these two spied on each other across the lake.

The Villa Melzi and its gardens represent rare harmony. They just need to be enjoyed!

4  Thank niki101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 1, 2012

We spent 1 1/2 hours walking the beautiful gardens and grounds of Villa Melzi. We thought the price was very reasonable, only 6 Euros. If you are in Bellagio it is certainly worth your while to spend time strolling Villa Melzi.

1  Thank wwjd1947
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2012

When you arrive in Bellagio, please take time to visit the Villa Melzi gardens. It takes probably 1 hour to 1.5 hours minimum. I would recommend to do this right as you arrive from the boat in the morning. The place is marvelous. So peaceful and special. Ticket costs 6 euros. You can stay inside as much as you want. There are magnificent places and views to sit and enjoy the Lago di Como, the swiss Alps, the flowers and life!
It is a magic place. Very romantic for a wedding proposal or to renew your wedding vows with your loved one! (just an idea!) :) I am sure romantic women will understand.

1  Thank IchinenLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

there may be grander gardens in the lake como area but this one impressed me and my wife plenty. it is a short walk from the bellagio harbor and the admission price is lower than most of the area public gardens.

Thank travelmansam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

This place is simply beautiful. It is located along the shore of Lake Como, with extraordinary collection of trees and plants and also statues which are placed throughout the garden. The beauty of the garden combined with the wonderful scent of orange blossoms create an even more special feeling. Definitely worth a visit when you're in Bellagio.

Thank Christina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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