Villa Camilla is a historic residence of the upper Lake Como, now the town hall of Domaso.
Villa Camilla is located in a park of about 8000 square meters. characterized by artificial caves of nineteenth-century tuff and a prestigious gate of 1700. In the garden there are many varieties of camellias, cedars and conifers.
Today the villa frequently hosts cultural events such as painting exhibitions, exhibitions, concerts and various events of a folkloric nature.
Villa Camilla, the current seat of the Domaso Municipality, rises on the edge of the historic center off the Regina state highway that separates it from the lake. The building is preceded by a monumental eighteenth-century gate, coming from Villa Giulini in Sorico, and it is constituted by a rectangular block on two floors flanked by a lower building, once used to host the service functions. The main facade of the villa has a symmetrical design and is characterized by a central portal in serizzo, with a small balcony on stone brackets above, and by angular ashlars. The openings on the upper floors are decorated with painted frames in the late Baroque style.
The interior, organized on large rooms arranged parallel to the main facade, has been the subject of adjustment work, to accommodate the new functions, which also involved the internal decorations widely taken. The building is accessed through an entrance vestibule that presents a decoration with plant motifs and leads to the large atrium, in correspondence of the portal on the façade, from which the staircase up to the upper floor located on the western side of the villa starts.
Surrounding the atrium are the other rooms that make up the ground floor including the main hall with decorations of neoclassical geometric-floral taste, a room with floral decorations of eighteenth-century taste but probably resumed and a room with monochrome decorations of neoclassical geometric design depicting candelabras, architectural elements and medallions with busts of characters. Decorations with monochrome landscape motifs are preserved along the walls of the staircase. The rooms on the upper floor follow the same distribution scheme of the ground floor and are organized around the central hall, in axis with the entrance portal, where a stone fireplace is preserved. The hall facing the garden has a decorated band under the wooden ceiling in which are depicted the coats of arms of some families who had relations with the owners of the villa. Around the building there is the park that includes a formal part with flowerbeds, on the south and east side, and a portion that hosts numerous plants of camellia but also tall trees (redwoods, larches) and a fake cave made in the nineteenth century.
The building dates back to the seventeenth century and was initially the home of the Ghezzi family. Later the property was purchased by Count Filippo Antonio Calderara who enlarged it and transformed it into a "nobleman's house" with its garden. Following the death of the Count, occurred in 1753, the property was inherited by his nephew Bartolomeo, husband of Vittoria Peluso, with whom he lived in the Villa d'Este in Cernobbio. An appraisal of 1790, made by the surveyor Antonio Crippa, documents the consistency of the property at that date that coincides substantially with the current one. In the plan, in fact, it is possible to recognize the rectangular block of the villa, the service building on the west side, the rustic buildings in the northern part of the garden and the perimeter wall of the park.
At that time the villa had a direct access to the lake from which it was separated only by a pedestrian passage while the public road ran along the western perimeter of the property. After the death of Bartolomeo Calderara, occurred in 1806, his wife inherited the property and remarried with Domenico Pino, general of the Napoleonic army. The villa was subsequently sold in 1837 to Francesco Lampugnani as documented by an appraisal of the buildings and funds carried out by Giovanni Biella. The building, which was still called "Casa Calderara", remained in the Lampugnani family until 1866 when, following the death of Francesco Lampugnani and the inheritance to his son Giuseppe, the villa was sold to face economic difficulties. The new owners were the English couple Samuel Hill and Emma Gryllis who maintained the property until 1903 when it was purchased by Count Giuseppe Maria Sebregondi. The latter had some decorative work done, including the room with the family coats of arms on the second floor, and gave the building its new name in honor of his first wife Countess Camilla Barbiano di Belgioioso. Upon Count Sebregondi's death in 1944, the villa was bequeathed to his nephews Carlo and Giovanni, who later, in 1952, sold it to the Municipality of Domaso, which made it the seat of the Town Hall. Starting from 2004 the villa has been object of a restoration intervention that has mainly concerned the main floor.