Villa Olmo: art and culture right on the Como Lake
The Como Lake is famous for it’s grand villas with ancient gardens of un-describable beauty, like for example Villa Olmo, a neoclassical architectural gem, and furthermore, important cultural center of the city if Como, which we will be visiting together today.
Itinerary departing from Moltrasio to visit the Olmo Villa in Como
From Moltrasio it’s possible to reach the Olmo Villa in a short period of time, by car, by bus (that stops directly in Via Borgo Vico), or by boat. In fact, today I’d like to suggest a trip that lets you discover the beauties of the Como Lake, and that of the area where the Olmo Villa is located.
From the pier right in front of the Hotel Posta in Moltrasio, you can travel by boat to Como. Even though it’s a short ride, you’ll get the chance to breathe the fresh lake air, and experience the beauty of the lake and the area where our hotel is located. Once you arrive in Como you’ll be in the very core center; Cavour square: and turning your head to the north-east you can already see a tip of the Olmo Villa, the final destination for today’s excursion, about 1km away by foot along the lake.
Walking along the Como Lake towards the Olmo Villa
The first part of the short walk takes you past some monuments built during the Fascist period, like the Voltiano Temple and the Monument ai Caduti Tower. Once you pass the Aero Club Como you’ll start seeing beautiful villas, some neoclassical, a prelude to the refined and elegant taste which you’ll see during your visit to the Olmo Villa, the only one open to the public.
This last part, due to its romantic views and setting, is called the “lovers street”.
The building and the park: the neoclassical art of the Olmo Villa
Innocenzo Odescalchi was looking to build a summer home for his family. The Olmo Villa needed to be something special and there was to be no holding back on costs, and it needed to be similar to some of the already existing neoclassical important buildings, like for example Villa Carlotta, property of the Sommariva family, as power and wealth was manifested by the level of one’s housing. Simone Cantoni, one of the most established architects of this time, takes on the task in 1780.
The ever present harmonic atmosphere and peacefulness that comes over you as soon as you enter the garden is made up of the perfect balance and proportion of the elements. You can walk through the isles of the Italian Garden, admire the beauty of its pagan statues, and the impressive colonnade outside the building facade, where the faces of ancient Greek philosophers hide.
Behind the main entrance door you have the Grand Ballroom, finely decorated, rich in detail, but not excessive. The ballroom is large and with incredibly high ceilings, and standing there with your nose in the air, looking around, you see the balcony stretching all the way around – the ballroom also has a precious and highly decorated ceiling with, highlighted by 2 frescoes; picturing open windows into the Hellenic world of myths, gods and heroes.
The Olmo Villa events, exhibitions and its e il suo lido, d’estate
Thanks to its position and several renovations, the Olmo Villa is used by the Municipality of Como for manifestations, exhibitions and events during the summer as well as during the winter.
In June for example, it has become a tradition to host the “Parolario”: one of the best known cultural and literary events that fill the gardens of the ancient villa with people, readings. People from all over Italy come to visit this event. During the summer season when the beaches and shores are open along the Como Lake, you’ll have the possibility to enjoy the pool and private beach of the villa: a perfect place to spend you days in a unique environment right on the shore of the Como Lake.
Like always, at the Hotel Posta in Moltrasio, you’ll find me, Armando and all of our staff, ready to give you advice on how to live your experience on our beloved lake to the fullest. Come visit us!