Le Chic En Rose

Diaries of an independent traveller

We were lucky enough to visit the exquisite gardens of Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo at arguably their most spectacular during the glorious displays of spring (see here for last week’s “Taster”). In April the azaleas and rhododendrons are a profusion of wonderful pinks, reds and soft creamy whites.



We had a lazy lunch overlooking Lake Como first and were pleasantly surprised to get straight into the gardens without a queue. Our ticket was for both house and gardens and we set off to explore. We had no idea from the lakeside how extensive the gardens are. Laid out over 70,000 square metres with pathways, stairs and woods it is like a walk through an enchanted garden and forest.



Villa Carlotta is named after the daughter of Albert I of Prussia. Her mother, Princess Marianne of Nassau, had purchased the villa in 1843 and gave it to her daughter, Carlotta, as a wedding present (as one does!). Originally built for a Milanese marquis, Giorgio Clerici, at the end of the 17th century it has a superb setting overlooking the lake and across to the Grignas mountains and the Bellagio Peninsula.



View Across Lake Como To Bellagio


In 1801, Gian Battista Sommariva, a politician, businessman and patron of the arts had purchased the villa and he oversaw the acquisition of some outstanding 19th century artworks, which form the basis of the collection in the house today. Not surprisingly Villa Carlotta became one of the essential stopping points on the aristocrats’ Grand Tours during the 19th century.


Aside from the spectacular floral displays we also walked through the Valley of the Ferns and the Bamboo Gardens. Although not a particularly sunny day the gardens still looked divine and the brief rain showers were actually rather refreshing. Set along a hillside, the paths were often steep – I can imagine the ladies with their crinolines and bustles trying to get up and down them! The panoramic viewing areas were particularly stunning, designed to take full advantage of the prime lakeside setting.



Villa Carlotta Tremezzo


At one point you come across a small garden shed now turned into a museum of some old fashioned gardening and farming implements.


No photos allowed in the main house! I found this out the hard way and had the embarrassment of being yelled at in Italian in front of some bemused looking tourists. Downstairs is given over to the neo-classical artworks and is decorated in the elegant style of Italianate villas of the 18th and 19th centuries. Upstairs was more simply decorated and the pretty soft lemon walls were currently home to an exhibition of an Italian Swiss artist entitled “As Clouds”. There didn’t appear to be any photographic restrictions here!


The views from the windows down to the entrance and across the lake were charming.


View From Villa Carlotta Interior


We wandered through an arbor lined with citrus trees and enjoyed an extended browse in the well-stocked gift shop before heading towards the cafe, where we enjoyed some gelati and a cup of tea. Villa Carlotta has its own ferry stop just a little further north from the quay at Tremezzo so we were able to time our exit to perfection and took the late afternoon ferry back to our Menaggio base in time for “Aperitivo Hour”.



Villa Carlotta Tremezzo


During the summer months and holiday seasons I am sure Villa Carlotta would get very crowded, especially with all the coach parties, but if you happen to be there on a quiet midweek day as we were then it is a different story. We were able to enjoy the beautiful gardens at leisure and it was a wonderfully relaxing and peaceful experience!


Villa Carlotta Tremezzo Entrance


Copyright Β© 2016 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

18 thoughts on “Exploring The Gardens Of Villa Carlotta

  1. I remember this beautiful garden so well! Though it must have been more than 10 years when we visited Villa Carlotta.

    I must dive into my pictures of Villa Melzi…

    Have a nice weekend! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Johanna – glad you enjoyed the memories! It’s such a beautiful place! I have looked up Villa Melzi – I remember seeing it from the boat when we sailed past Bellagio and although we went to the town we didn’t get out to the villa. We must go there next time. Would love to see your photos they must be stunning! Have a nice weekend too! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Every year I have ambitions about a coordinated colour scheme like this but always end up with a technicolor mess!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I think it must be far harder to achieve than it looks! We came across many gardeners on our walk round – it must be a full time job maintaining the grounds but well worth it! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Anabel Marsh says:

    What gorgeous gardens. I love it when the azaleas are blooming – so colourful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are certainly gorgeous gardens Anabel and we just loved the azaleas – the colours were exquisite! I think Spring would be the pick of the seasons but my dad went in October a couple of years back and they looked stunning then too! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. kayrpea61 says:

    I’d go back to Lake Como in a heartbeat, Rosemary, even though, or especially as, my only visit there was spoilt by a dose of food poisoning!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m so sorry you had food poisoning when you stayed there. Do hope you can get back there one day and enjoy a second visit!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The colours in the garden are just incredible Rosemary and the setting of the villa is spectacular. Love the picture of the trellis and the oranges too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was simply gorgeous Joy – hard to imagine a more stunning setting! I loved the trellis too and all those beautiful oranges it was lovely walking through there! Very lucky to be there at such a glorious time of the year πŸ˜ƒ

      Liked by 1 person

  6. tayonthemove says:

    Wow, stunning views and beautiful garden!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks they were such wonderful gardens – so lovely to walk through them! πŸ˜ƒ


  7. ledrakenoir says:

    Amazing views… πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks it’s such a beautiful place and the panoramic views were wonderful! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow. Each photo more beautiful than the one before!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks it’s a wonderful place for taking photos!! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. restlessjo says:

    It was late May when we were there and the rhodies were past their best, but such a lovely place. Thanks for the memories. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so welcome Jo – glad to be able to bring some happy memories of your visit there. Take care X

      Liked by 1 person

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