Lake Como, Villa Carlotta: what you shoudn’t miss
In any city, town or place you go there are attractions which, for various reasons, are a must for a tourist … that’s something you can not avoid visiting, without having the feeling to have lost a gem. Here, Villa Carlotta is fully part of this category. And one of the most famous tourist attractions of Lake Como.
On the lake there are different villas to visit and the amazing thing is that each has its own reason, its own personality that distinguishes it from the others.
But today I’ll tell you about Villa Carlotta and what, in my opinion, just you must not miss if you visit it!
The events related to this villa began more than three centuries ago when, around 1690, it has been built at the behest of the Marquis Giorgio II Clerici.
Its history is fascinating, like that of all those buildings which over the years were the backdrop to countless events, more or less important. Flying on dates and details, keep in mind that were three families that followed within its walls: the Clerici, the Sommariva and the Sachsen Meinigen. And of course each left its mark.
But if you are wondering who was then Carlotta, I tell you now: a princess, daughter of Marianna of Nassau and Prince Albert of Prussia, who in 1844 bought the villa from Sommariva and then gave it as a gift to Carlotta on the occasion of his wedding with Prince Georg von Sachsen Meiningen, a few years later. Not a bad gift!
Bearing in mind these few steps will be easier to you coming to the events of the individual characters as you turn through the rooms of this villa. But I do not want to reveal anything, I can only assure that it will be very interesting to find out how their lives have been intertwined in this place and how they left their mark.
Here I’ll tell you what you can not really get lost (in my opinion) among the many beauties that Villa Carlotta guards!
# 1 The statue of Cupid and Psyche. It was made by Adamo Tadolini, one of the best student of the famous scalptor Canova. Looking at the details of the two figures, the folds of the robe of Psyche, her hair, the wings of Cupid, an almost amber color of their skin, you will hardly believe to be in front of just a piece of marble …
# 2 The two original statues of Canova: Terpsichore and Palamedes. The first is in plaster, the other in marble. Here the comments are wasted.
3 # The high relief made by Thorvaldsen. It represents the Entrance of Alexander the Great in Babylon and if you have the patience to linger on its details and on the amount of characters represented, you will be surprised by the sculptor ability to work with marble and make animals and people almost real.
# 4 The ceiling in the Views Room. It is a riot of colors, in neo-Pompeian style…check out the decoration on the bottom, with the marine figures … hard to say whether it is painting or in relief!
# 5 The gallery and the ceilings of the top floor. On this floor it is exposed the furniture of Carlotta’s period. Even if you do not have much time, go up to at least to admire the original ceilings of the XVII century (you find them inside the rooms) and the beautiful gallery, at the time used as a ball room and as a walk on rainy days, with sumptuous chandeliers and ornated ceilings. Another gem of the top floor is the balcony, where you can go out and where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the lake.
# 6 The garden. If you are thinking to visit just the Italian garden (in front of the villa), you will make a big mistake! In addition to the front terraces, decorated with balustrades, flower beds, citrus grove, a fountain, camellias walls and ancient species of roses, there is, on the left side of the building (facing the lake), a real botanical garden to explore. Villa Carlotta is famous all over the world thanks to this garden! Do not miss the valley of ferns and, in spring, the blooming of azaleas and rhododendrons. The show is something indescribable!
Well, these are my favorite stops in the visit of Villa Cralotta, but believe me, I was narrow! I left out a lot (one among all The Last Kiss of Romeo and Juliet by Hayez), but I did it to give you just a taste … you can imagine what awaits you then!