Villa Serbelloni Park located in Bellagio extends on the steep promontory which separates the two branches of the lake, where, according to tradition, Plinio il Giovane owned a villa called Tragoedia.
From the park, a charming maze of paths surrounded by native and exotic vegetation and embellished with terraces and statues, you can enjoy a superb view of the branches of Lake Como and Lecco while from the fortification on the promontory of a splendid view of the northern branch of the lake and the Prealps.
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On the internal ridge of the hill, protected from the winds blowing from the lake, the building complex of Villa Serbelloni is characterized by the simplicity of its architectural lines. Inside there are elegant rooms with vaulted and coffered ceilings, carefully decorated in the style of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
All around the park develops along a large part of the promontory of Bellagio with vast stretches of dense forest where the gardeners of Serbelloni had traced the paths that still make their way between small glades and gardens " in the English way".
As Balbiani points out, rather than a garden it is a real "forest, opened by spacious and comfortable avenues, and planted with every generation of tall trees"; among others, oaks, conifers, firs, holm oaks, osmanthus, myrtles and junipers, "but above the trees all here faces the pine tree, which with its knotty trunk makes a screen against the storms".
From time to time, the vegetation branches off, opening onto panoramic points that overlook the two branches of the lake, offering perspective views of the slopes of the hill where, in summer, the roses bloom in their colorful varieties. Along the winding avenue which climbs to the villa, the roughness of the rocky soil has not prevented the construction of terraces and flower beds where grow yews and boxwoods geometrically pruned. Towards the top of the park, long rows of cypress trees and some large palm trees are beautifully exposed.
The original layout of the villa dates back to 1400 and was built at the behest of Marchesino Stanga, feudal lord of the place.
In 1788 it passed to Count Alessandro Serbelloni, a member of one of the noblest and richest families in Lombardy, who dedicated himself to it, concentrating above all on the creation of the immense external park, where he built carriageable tracks, paths and paths for a total length of about 18 km.
At the death of the count, the villa passed from property to property and, at the end of the 19th century, it was transformed into a hotel. The complex was later acquired by the American Ella Walker, Princess Della Torre e Tasso, who decided to live there again, donating it then to the Rockefeller Foundation.
Today the villa is the seat of conferences and study stays of the Foundation.