Villa del Balbianello Tours

9 reviews
Villa del Balbianello is one of a number of elegant historic villas that sit directly on the water’s edge at Lake Como. On the tip of a small promontory on the lake’s western shore, Balbianello is particularly lovely, with luxurious interiors, scenic loggia, beautiful gardens, and romantic lake views.

The Basics
The villa was built in 1787 on the site of a Franciscan monastery, but by the early 20th century the buildings and grounds had fallen into a state of neglect. American businessman Butler Ames bought and refurbished the villa in 1919, creating the elaborate terraced gardens that you can see today. In 1974 Italian explorer Count Guido Monzino purchased the villa and decorated it with collections of Chinese and African art, French furniture, and other artifacts from his expeditions before leaving the estate to the FAI (Italy’s National Trust) upon his death in 1988.

By far the best way to appreciate the estate is by taking a guided tour that offers insights into the history of the villa and explores both the impressive interiors and the extensive gardens. Consider opting for a private tour that combines Villa del Balbianello with visits to Villa Melzi and Villa Carlotta, also on the shores of Lake Como.  

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Villa del Balbianello and its beautiful grounds are especially interesting for avid gardeners and photographers.
  • If you are joining a tour of Lake Como’s villas, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.
  • Parts of the villa and gardens are accessible to wheelchair users, but many tours include access on foot and by taxi boat, which may not be suitable for those with limited mobility or a wheelchair.
 
How to Get There
The most scenic way to approach Villa del Balbianello is on foot from Lenno, a 25-minute walk with excellent views of the lake as well as over the towns of Tremezzo and Lenno. You can also take a small-group boat tour or water taxi from Lenno, Varenna, Sala Comacina, Ossuccio, or one of the other towns along the lake shore.

When to Get There
Villa del Balbianello is open on Tuesday and Thursday through Sunday. Spring and fall are the best seasons to visit, as the gardens are verdant and can be enjoyed without the summer crowds.

Villa del Balbianello and Hollywood
This dramatic villa has been used as a location for a number of movies, including Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and the James Bond film Casino Royale.
Location
Address: Via Comoedia 5, Tremezzina, Como, Italy 22016, Italy
Read More

4 Tours & Activities to Experience

times
icon-filterFilter
Clear all
Select Dates
Sort by:Default

Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Walking and Boating Full-Day Tour

Capture the spirit of Lake Como with this 8-hour walking and boating tour from Varenna. Follow your local guide on walking tours of both Bellagio and Varenna, two of the mid-lake region's most enchanting towns. Stop at an historic olive oil mill to taste on of the region's local specialties, accompanied by cured meats and wine. Embark on a boat cruise to see some of the lake's most beautiful natural scenery. View Villa Melzi's and its lush gardens from the boat and disembark to visit the opulent Villa Balbianello, learning about the golden age of Lake Como as you look around. Eat a traditional Italian lunch at a lakefront restaurant. All entrance fees, tastings, activities and lunch are included.
  • Duration: 8 hours
From
USD258.93
See Details
  • Duration: 8 hours
From
USD258.93

Villas and Flavors of Lake Como Walking and Boating Full-Day Trip from Milan

Discover the beautiful Lake Como area by land and water on this day trip from Milan. Sample delicious Italian treats and take a walking tour of Varenna. Learn about the history of the Lake and its surrounding villages from your guide. Embark on a sightseeing cruise on the lake and pass landmarks such as Villa del Balbianello on the way to Bellagio and the Villa Melzi gardens.
  • Duration: 1 day
From
USD293.45
See Details
  • Duration: 1 day
From
USD293.45

Cruise and Dinner on Lake Como from Varenna

Watch the sunset over Lake Como on a 3-hour cruise from Varenna with dinner at a lakeside restaurant. Cruise past quiet bays and elegant villas with the backdrop of the Rhaetian Alps as the captain shares stories about Lake Como, see the first few stars appear above the lake, then return to shore for a four-course dinner and wine.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
USD149.60
See Details
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
USD149.60

NEW TO VIATOR

Unique Villas and Gardens Tour in Como Lake from Milan - Small group tour

For a break from the bustle of Milan, this small-group tour takes you to the glittering shores of Lake Como and two of the lake’s hidden gems. Take a short and scenic walk along the lakeshore to reach Villa del Balbianello and Villa Melzi, two historic estates and gardens that are only accessible by foot and often closed to the public. Travel in a comfortable minivan with an intimate group no larger than eight.
  • Duration: 9 hours
From
USD178.37
See Details
  • Duration: 9 hours
From
USD178.37

Recommended for Lake Como


mobile_o
Having trouble booking online?
(888) 651-9785
Call (888) 651-9785