How to reach
A9 Highway, exit Como Nord In pullman
Public transport, bus 1-6-11 Villa Olmo Lido stopOn foot
From city center walking to Como, walk Lino Gelpi - Cernobbio, via per Cernobbio (30 minutes from downtown)Parking
Parking on payment at Via Cantoni and Via BellinzonaBy electric boats
It is possible to rent electric boats at affordable rates and without boat license at Econoleggio Comolake
For information and reservation: phone +39 347 0704434 - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
An undocumented tradition has it that the Roman poet Caninius Rufus, a close friend of Pliny the Younger, owned a villa on the Borgovico side of Como, whose gardens were famous for their elms. Two Como historians recorded – Rezzonico in the 18th century and Bertolotti in the 19th – that two enormous ancient elms of different species actually existed here. In the mid-17th century, Marco Plinio Ode-scalchi purchased the remains of the medieval monastery that had stood on the site, in order to build a summer residence. In 1780, one of his descendents, Innocenzo Odescalchi, commissioned the architect Simone Cantoni to design an even grander residence, whose elegant Neoclassical design still dominates the lake shore.
After passing to the Marquises Raimondi in the 19th century, Villa ''Olmo'' enjoyed a new lease on life, along with the upper garden which assumed an informal layout.
After 1883 the last private owners, the Dukes Visconti of Modrone, decided to make many changes to the villa, court, stables (the work of the architect E. Alemagna) and garden. In 1925, Villa ''Olmo'' was acquired by the Como City Council, which converted it into a prestigious venue for exhibitions and meetings. Over the centuries famous personalities have stayed here, from Napoleon I to Foscolo, from Radetzky to Garibaldi.
The present formal garden, between the building and the lake, was laid out recently, although its geometric rigour and the use of box hedges are reminiscent of the classical Italian garden.
By contrast, the section at the back of the house retains its landscaped style, which was introduced by Raimondi and designed by Luigi Sada in 1829.
The restoration work of the Villa's Park
2018 is the year in which the Villa Olmo building complex reopens (originally built between 1782 and 1787) after restoration work involving the park, outbuildings and the nearby Villa Saporiti. The park will be ready to open in March.
Lighting has been installed in the parterre area next to the lake and the English romantic park behind the villa, new structures introduced into the irrigation system, flowerbeds redesigned and the lawn resown. The new flowerbeds have been planted with Abelia rupestris and Hydrangea paniculata in the areas overlooking the lakefront and white Iceberg roses bordered with box (Buxus sempervirens) facing the Villa. The park has undergone extensive plant maintenance, monitoring trees and assuring their safety, particularly the monumental ones (Cedar of Lebanon and Horse Chestnut).
The statues and monumental fountain have been conserved by the Aldo Galli Academy of Como, with donations from Como Soroptimist and the Famiglia Comasca Association.
New pathways have been introduced into the English romantic park, including a connection within the park to a new bridge crossing the Valeria irrigation ditch, and existing ones restored. The plants have been tidied up and new ones added.
Finally a botanical garden has been created in the romantic park beyond the KM of Knowledge Bridge, near the historic greenhouses and the path connecting the Villa Olmo and Grumello building complexes.
Inside the Villa, the Duke's Hall on the first floor, inaccessible since 2015, has been restored to its ancient splendour with the renovation of the surfaces decorated with neo-baroque friezes and the wooden floors, with contributions from Maison Bulgari. The newly restored Duke's Hall is now available for private or institutional events.