Villa Melzi, Bellagio
The Villa Melzi is a short walk from the centre of Bellagio along a promenade lined with oleander trees.
The Villa was built between 1808 and 1810 for Francesco Melzi d'Eril, who was vice president of the Italian Republic under Napoleon. It was designed by Giocondo Albertolli.
Although the villa itself is not open to visitors, there is a small exhibition in the orangery, which contains some items from the Napoleonic period, including the keys of the city of Milan, prints of Milan from the period, archaeological artefacts and two renaissance frescoes.
At the far end of the gardens (if coming from the Bellagio entrance) is the Melzi family chapel, also designed by Albertolli, which contains the family tomb.
The main reason for visiting is however the botanic garden, containing rare and exotic plants. The garden is was designed by the architect Luigi Canonica and the botanist Luigi Villoresi. It is particularly noted for camelias, azaleas and rhododendrons. Unfortunately my visit was too late in the year to see these.
There is another entrance at the other end of the gardens, in Loppia. If you are also visiting the Museum of Navigational Instruments in San Giovanni, slightly further on, it's more pleasant to walk through the Villa Melzi gardens from Bellagio to Loppia than along the road, which has no pavement.
Open from March - October, 9.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. Admission is €6.50
One of the famous villas in Bellagio is the beautiful Villa Melzi D'eril. The villa was built in the early 1800's for Duke Francesco Melzi D'Eril, a friend and associate of Napoleon Bonaparte. (The villa is today called the Villa Gallarati Scotti because it is owned by Count Gallarati Scotti.) Designed by Albertolli, the famous villa houses works of art by Canova. The views from the villa and grounds of Villa Melzi are breathtaking.
The magnificent grounds, often shown with a blue-cupola turret on the lakefront, are open for touring as is a neo-classical chapel. Unfortunately, the villa itself, just as the Villa Serbelloni, is not open for tours.
The gardens include many beautiful views and diverse sections such as the Japanese Garden and sections devoted to Egyptian and classical sculpture. You can make visiting the Villa Melzi part of a day excursion to Bellagio. If taking the ferry to Bellagio, head right along the promenade away from the center of Bellagio. The best time to visit is of course in the spring when flowers and shrubs are blooming!
9.30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. from March 29th to October 30th
The Villa's website list the following as possibilities for your transportation to Bellagio in order to visit the Villa:
"By bus or ferry-boat Como-Bellagio. There are two possibilities:
1) From the Como station square buses are leaving ten times a day directed to Bellagio.
2) Ferry-boat. The terminal is ten minutes away from the Como station. There it is possible to reach Bellagio by ferry-boat or by steamer."
Trains are available from the Milan Central Station or from the Ferrovie Nord Station directed to Como from which you then can board a bus or ferry.
Vila Melzi was built for Duke Francesco Melzi d'Eril in 1808. Its a stunning residence surrounded by divine gardens of azaleas and rhododendrons.
It is opened to the public daily during the months of March - November from 9am -6pm.
Tickets include visiting the neo-classical chapel, the museum , garden and parks.
The gardens of Villa Melzi are and absolute MUST SEE! Do not miss it by any chance. Apart from other lovely things in the villa complex, gardens are the most beautiful. There are all kinds of trees, plants and flowers, from Japan to Chile, and the best time to be there is May, when everything is in full bloom.
Admission is 5 EUR for adults, and the gardens are open from April to October, 9am-6pm.
Villa Melzi is one of the most famous villas in Bellagio. It was built by Mr. Melzi, the vice president of the Italian Republic founded by Napoleon, in the beginning of 19th century. There are breathtaking gardens, museums, chapel, archeological remains... all that in a huge, vast space along the lake, overlooking the Como's side (exactly across is another tremendously stunning villa with amazing gardens, Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo).
Be there in May, it's THE time for the garden, for then you'll find azaleas in full bloom in the most incredible colours.
Bellagio is a chic, classy town, very touristy and if you want a home there, you need to have a very deep pocket. There are very many gorgeous villas, with fantastic view, and even if you can't buy one, you can always go and look around, and admire. VIlla melzi is one of the most famous and most beautiful ones, with very beautiful gardens full of colourful flowers and foliage, so take a walk and enjoy the paradise!