Nestled between the mountains and the enchanting views of the Bellagio peninsula, Villa Carlotta is located on the western shore of Lake Como and occupies an area of over 70,000 square meters.
Villa Carlotta History
The construction was begun around 1690 by the Milanese banker Giorgio Clerici; in 1795 the property was bought by the entrepreneur Giambattista Sommariva, then, in 1843, by Princess Marianna of Nassau, who gave it to her daughter Carlotta of Prussia on the occasion of the wedding with George II Duke of Saxony-Meiningen.
Giorgio, born in Meiningen in 1826, was a cultured man with many interests; deeply fond of fine arts and artist himself, music lover, historian and literature scholar, theater patron; he had met Carlotta, born in Berlin in 1831 - an intelligent young man, very gifted with music, interested, like him, at the theater - and he soon fell in love with her. What the chronicles of the time do not hesitate to define a marriage of love - far from the logic of power and palace - was celebrated, after a short engagement, May 18, 1850.
After four years, happy and cheered by the birth of three children, in 1855 Carlotta died prematurely. In the will, the unfortunate princess bequeathed the villa of Tremezzo to her husband, who always looked after it with great care. Giorgio decided to remarry quickly, if only to be able to support his children with a new mother figure; the choice fell on a cousin, Fedora di Hohenlohe-Langenburg. After the death of Fedora, Giorgio married, in 1873, a third time, but morganically, with the actress Ellen Franz. This choice was not shared either by the family or by many European rulers; however, the new couple was much loved by their subjects. Giorgio died in 1914.
One of the most famous works of Lake Como, an absolutely unique place, where man's work is happily integrated with that of nature, thanks to G.B. Sommariva reached the peak of splendor, transforming part of the garden into a romantic park and embellishing the dwelling with the works of the most famous artists of the period such as Canova, Thorvaldsen and Hayez making it a temple of neoclassical and nineteenth-century art.
Favored by the fertility of the land due to the deposit, by ancient glaciers, of a particularly acid sediment, the park of Villa Carlotta is famous for the amazing spring flowering of rhododendrons and azaleas in over 150 varieties; an itinerary among ancient examples of camellias, cedars and redwoods, cypresses, immense plane trees, purple beeches, exotic essences, there are surprising meetings: the rock garden, the valley of the ferns, the rhododendron forest, the bamboo garden, the museum of agricultural tools and extraordinary views.