U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8b. Sunset climate zone 5

Monday, August 4, 2014

Gardens of Villa Melzi, Northern Italy

Tree lovers' paradise, this garden in Bellagio  (Northern Italy) was one of my favorites during our last trip to Europe. 
If you remember the garden of Villa Carlotta in Mennagio (post Villa Carlotta Garden in Northern Italy), you might recall that there was a rivalry between its owner and the owner of the villa across the lake.
Here it is, the place which belonged to Melzi D'Eril.
Count Francesco Melzi, vice president of the First Italian Republic and a friend of Napoleon, built this neo-classical villa between 1808 and 1810.
Winding paths led us through the well groomed gardens up the hill and back to the Lake Como shore. Egyptian sculptures and Roman statues add classical flavor to the garden.
The Villa was described by Stendhal in his book  'Rome, Naples, Florence' (1817).

Promenade leading to the Villa from the center of Bellagio:

The garden, which is English in style,  was designed by the architect Luigi Canonica and the botanist Luigi Villoresi.
It hosts beautiful trees from all over the world.

One of my favorite parts is a Japanese Garden with a variety of maples,  a pond with water lilies and a bridge. We saw it in the beginning of our walk, and later after we went through the rest of the property. Lighting changed, and it was exciting to watch how the look of the garden did as well.  
The play of the light and shade and changing colors of the foliage were a real show.

Thoughtfully laid trails and paths allow visitors to admire Lake Como and its breathtaking surroundings.

This Moorish style structure looks like it belongs in a fairy  tale.
(Moorish - Berber-Islamic and Hispano-Islamic architecture of North Africa).

'Dante and Beatrice' by Comolli:

Giant rhododendrons, luscious azalias and camelias  form hedges and groves throughout the property.

Centuries-old trees are  the most essential part of the garden. I saw character in each tree as they all have something special  - size, color, shape, etc.

The geometry of the garden is hypnotizing. I stopped so many times just to admire the rhythm of lined up trees or rows of terracotta containers. 

This rectangular pond is located between the lake and the Villa:

Behind the Villa:

One of the buildings was converted into a museum that has interesting archaeological artifacts and items brought by the owner including those from Napoleonic wars. The keys of the city of Milan, prints of Milan and magnificent frescoes are among them.

Don't you like these shadows?

Here is the Japanese Garden again.

Ideal location, terraced structure of the garden, a wonderful selection of beautiful trees and other plants, as well as classic architecture create a superb place which I would consider a must for those who visit this part of Italy.
The Villa itself is a residence of Count Gallarati Scotti and is not open for visitors.

***Copyright 2014 TatyanaS


  1. Such an extraordinarily beautiful garden! I love the stroll through the area, the vistas and the Japanese garden. I don't recall ever seeing a wrought iron railing on a bridge in a Japanese garden and I have to admit I prefer it as it doesn't detract from the view but it still beautiful in its own right. The oak is stunning with the variegated foliage! I could go on and on but let's just say, I really enjoyed this visit!

    1. Shirley, thank you SO much! That oak is amazing! Our garden isn't big enough for it, unfortunately...

  2. Tatyana, this is SO beautiful!

    1. Irene, this garden deserves to be called beautiful! Thank you!

  3. I wish I could go there right now.

    1. Helen, when is your next vacation? Go for it!

  4. mceleanoreAugust 05, 2014

    Tranquil and peaceful!

  5. Wow! What an incredible tour! The lake and its surroundings are spectacular. I particularly loved the walk and the Japanese maples. I tried to imagine what it was like to live in that villa and to experience those surroundings every day...

    1. Deb, thanks! Wouldn't it be nice to have a very little house somewhere in that area? Veeeery little....

  6. Wonderful! I've always thought that if I could chose to live anywhere in the world, this would be it (assuming that it is not hot and humid there!).

    1. Thank you Phillip! The climate is very pleasant there. I could live there too!

  7. Just incredible...I was smitten with all the rows of different trees. Looks spectacular.

  8. Incredible! So many gorgeous trees! Thank you for another great tour!


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