Villa Monastero is located in Varenna, in the province of Lecco, on the shores of Lake Como. the villa houses a Botanical Garden that extends for almost 2 kilometers along the lake front from Varenna to Fiumelatte, a HouseMuseum and Conference Center, an international conference center overlooking Lake Como.
Among the conferences organized at Villa Monastero there is the International School of Physics "Enrico Fermi", organized by the Italian Society of Physics since 1953. The school has hosted speeches by more than thirty-four Nobel Prize winners.
Villa Monastero, a property of the Province of Lecco, is one of the most interesting attractions of our territory thanks to its strategic location, its history, its landscape, its environment and for the different services which it can offer. The House Museum, the historical and noble residence, is at its core: in the year 2004 Villa Monastero was given the title of "Casa Museo" by the Lombardy Region and since then its fourteen rooms, fully furnished, with original decorations and furniture, can be visited following a charming itinerary.
The Villa, with its many possibilities of choice, offers institutions, universities, companies, associations and research centers the opportunity to hold conferences, seminars, training courses, workshops and other cultural events in an extremely attractive location.
The wonderful villa, whose name comes from its origins as female monastery dating back to the twelfth century, can be admired nowadays in its current aspect of eclectic residence of the late nineteenth century and it is surrounded by a Botanical Garden which extends for almost 2 kilometers along the lake front from Varenna to Fiumelatte.
The complex has almost 80,000 visitors annually, offering opportunities for recreation and learning thanks to the presence of numerous rare native and exotic tree species which nowadays reach the considerable total of over 900 specimens which allowed it to obtain the regional recognition of Botanical Garden. Thanks to the particularly mild climate typical of the lake, this garden is home to botanical rarities from all over the world.
The context of Villa Monastero also offers the opportunity to develop and deepen educational activities divided into itineraries and recreational activities dedicated to schools and families.
The beauty and exclusivity of the environment make Villa Monastero also suitable as a photographic set for prestigious Italian and foreign fashion and tourism magazines.
This magical place is also the ideal place for weddings, with its Botanical Garden, rich in plants, flowers and poetic views, and the wonderful rooms of the House Museum.
Born from the transformation of an ancient female monastery of Cistercian foundation dedicated to the Virgin Mary and built at the end of the twelfth century, the Villa saw a succession of different owners - from the Valsassians Mornico to the German Walter Kees, finally reaching the Milanese De Marchi of Swiss origin (to whom is named the Multipurpose Hall of Varenna) - who were responsible for the expensive construction and renovation activities which gave it over time its current appearance of eclectic residence.
In 1939 it was donated to the State by the De Marchi family, with the obligation to preserve it and use it as a cultural institution of public benefit; so fourteen years later, in 1953, the congress centre was founded, and it hosts conferences of a cultural and scientific nature still today, including the summer courses of the prestigious Italian School of Physics.
Finally, in 2003 the Museum House was created, and in its rooms, 14 to be exact, distributed between the ground floor and the first floor, the museum itinerary is articulated and unwinds, during which visitors have the opportunity to admire the original decorations and furniture. Among the most important rooms are the Black Room, in neo-Renaissance style, the Billard Room, with decorated capitals and various marbles, the Red Room, with tapestries and neo-Rococo furnishings, the Fermi Room, where the physicist Enrico Fermi held his last lessons in 1954.
The crowning achievement of this splendid building is the enchanting Botanical Garden, rich in rare and exotic botanical species kept here luxuriant by the mild climate typical of the lake.
Among the various artworks surrounding the park certainly stands out "La Clemenza di Tito", a group of sculptures created by the neoclassical artist Giovanni Battista Comolli, the last work of the author before his death, placed here at the beginning of '900.
Villa Monastero is owned by the Province of Lecco.
Shuttles from Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports to Milan main station are available.
From Milan main station take the train to Sondrio/Tirano and get off at Varenna/Esino.
From Milan take Strada Statale S.S.36 towards Lecco. Upon reaching Lecco, take the S.P.72 and then the exit junction to Abbadia Lariana/Mandello/Varenna. Villa Monastero is in Varenna on the main road. A nearby car park is also available.
€ 7,00 for senior visitors over the age of 65, groups of more than 10 people, Italian Touring Club members, residents in the province of Lecco.
€ 5,00 for young people between 12 and 18 and students between 18 and 24.
FREE for children of 11 and under, disabled visitors, ICOM members, Abbonamento Musei Lombardia Milano holders, residents in Varenna, journalists.
Free entrance is guaranteed for professional guides and tour leaders, only together with a group.
Tickets can be bought until 30min. before the closure time
Cumulative ticket with Villa Cipressi Botanical Garden*
€ 17,00 for adults
€ 11,00 senior visitors over the age of 65, groups of more than 10 people, Italian Touring Club members, residents in the province of Lecco
€ 7,50 for young people between 12 and 18 and students between 18 and 24
* purchasable only on the opening days of the Villa Cipressi garden
Docking at Villa Monastero is free for visit purpose; the access to the dock is allowed to boats and taxi boats only for the time needed to get off and on the boat to visit the Botanical Garden and the House Museum, after asking the ticket office (telephone number 0039 0341 830129).
Berthing platform: width 6,30 m x length 2,70 m, connected to another platform on the shore through a gangway 1,10 m wide and 6,50 m long.