Villa Balbiano

Lake Como, Ossuccio

    • Sleeps 12+8+8 Guests
    • Bedrooms 14 Bedrooms
    • Bathrooms 12 Bathrooms
    • Floor area sq m 950 m2
    • Villa concierge
    • Pool
    • WiFi
    • Air con
    • Daily maid
    • Cook
    • Terrace
    • Fireplace
    • Dog welcome
    • Gym
    • Golf
    • Airport distance:
      Milano Linate 95 km/1 hr 50 min
      Milano Orio al Serio 77 km/1 hr 50 min
      Milano Malpensa 133 km/2 hrs
      Switzerland/Lugano 73 km/1 hr 30 min


    One of the most impressive villas on Lake Como

    Villa Balbiano is an exceptional historic palazzo, the perfect venue for family vacation or weddings on breathtaking Lake Como, Italy. Situated on the western shore of Lake Como, the villa is located in the town of Ossuccio, approximately 20 km north of the town of Como.

    Villa Giovio Balbiano was built by Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio at the end of the 16th century, after the drawings of Pellegrino Tibaldi, and was enlarged and embellished by Cardinal Durini in the 18th century. In 1637, Marco Gallio, changed the layout of the grounds in order to obtain enough space to create the Italian garden. In 1787, the property was sold to Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini, papal nuncio, a lover of arts and letters, patron and collector. He made the Villa an authentic place of delight by enlarging the house and garden, erecting statues and fountains, and opening new avenues between hedges and pergolas. 

    The facade, with simple and sober lines, punctuated by gray stone ornamental carvings, is directly reflected in the water of Lake Como. All around stand statues and fountains. From the Strada Regina, a nymph flowered of blue iris leads to the path to the main house, lined with box hedges, where plane trees and cypresses grow.

    In the late 18th century Balbiano hosted a gallant and frivolous society where festivals, banquets and dances followed one another relentlessly. The lounges housed recitation meetings, concerts or literary discussions. Inside, the spectacular baroque frescoes by the Recchi brothers in the early 17th century can still be seen. In the lobby, Cardinal Durini installed its rich library, known to all scholars of the time. Nearby, where the river empties into Perlana’s lake, the pipe works commissioned by Durini to stem the flow of water can still be admired. The film "The House of Gucci" with Lady Gaga, Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons, directed by Ridley Scott was shot in this extraordinary villa.

    Villa Balbiano is a lake shore property on 3 acres of land. It has two swimming pools (one inside and one outside). The 3 floors recently renovated by the interior design Jacques Garcia. The villa boasts original frescoes, all the rooms are beautifully furnished with antiques.

    The property can host up to 28 people: 
    6 luxury suites in the main palace - 12 guests
    4 additional bedrooms in the left wing - 8 guests
    4 bedrooms in the adjacent Villino - 8 guests

    Guests Reviews

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    Touring ideas
    Touring Ideas

    Shops, restaurants in walking distance
    Lake shore some metres
    Public landing stage 350 m
    Ferry 5 km
    Bellagio 10 km
    Menaggio 10 km
    Cernobbio 20 km
    Como 20 km
    Malpensa Airport 35 km
    Lugano 38 km
    Leccio 52 km
    Milan 74 km

    • Safe in each bedroom
    • Fully equipped pro kitchen
    • Private access to the lake
    • 2 boat houses
    • Gym area
    • Secure parking area
    • Reverse cycle AC/heating
    • Fully integrated security system
    • 2 swimming pools (one inside and one outside)
    • Elevator
    • TV
    • WiFi
    • Cook
    • Concierge
    • Maids
    • Gardeners



    Many small towns and villages surround Lake Como. The villa is located in the town of Ossuccio, approximately 20 km north of the town of Como. The lake villages are quaint and beautiful and it’s worthwhile exploring them. If you spend the mornings on the west side and the afternoons on the east side of the lake, you will always stay in the sun. 

    Steamers, boats, car ferries and buses serve all the main towns on Lake Como. A ferry around the heart of Lake Como (between the key towns of Bellagio, Varenna, Menaggio and Cadenabbia) is a must. The most popular of the stops remains Bellagio.

    Bellagio - known as the pearl of the lake is a beautiful little town in a picture-perfect location on the promontory where Lake Como separates into two branches. The town is historic and charming, with a waterfront promenades, stately hotels and two gardens open to the public: Villa Serbelloni and Villa Melzi. Bellagio's tourist information offices are by the ferry jetty and in Piazza della Chiesa.

    Menaggio is located on the western shore of Lake Como, and has small stretches of shingle beach. From Menaggio you can travel to Lake Lugano or embark on mountain hikes. The town is a useful base for exploring Lake Como; with good bus and ferry connections. 

    The fishing village of Varenna has picturesque narrow alleyways and streets below a castle and a lakeside walking path. Varenna is a peaceful resort, smaller than Bellagio and also very beautiful. You can admire views from the Castello di Vezio or simply relax by the lakeside.

    In Tremezzo visit Villa Carlotta - a villa and botanical garden. The villa is today a museum, whose art collection includes works by Canova, Thorvaldsen, Migliara and Hayez in addition to pieces of furniture from the time of the various owners.

    The walled town of Como is a lively and pleasant town with an appealing historical centre and a scenic location at the southern end of the east branch of Lake Como. The impressive cathedral (Duomo), like most in Italy, was built and added to over a period of centuries, so you can admire Gothic and Renaissance features including some fine tapestries and paintings. The town's earlier cathedral (built in the tenth century), San Fedele, is another fine sight, as are the tall nine-hundred-year-old gateway, Porta Vittoria, and the Romanesque church Sant'Abbondio. The town's art gallery (Pinacoteca) is also worth a visit. For a short trip out of town, take the funicular up to the top of the hill above Como, where you can enjoy spectacular views. 

    Lake Como and the region is a shopper’s paradise. Around Como there are many small shops and boutiques, and in the larger towns you will find a great range of boutiques, designer stores and department stores. Wherever you are you are never far from great shopping.
    Como is an interesting place to shop because of its local flavor. There are very elegant stores in Como that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Some of the world’s greatest designers are found in Como. Perhaps the nicest discount silk store (Mantero VIII) is found on the outskirts of Como.
    Como is only a few minutes' drive from the Swiss border and from Lake Lugano. Cross the border into Switzerland and visit Foxtown Factory Stores, a temple of luxury and elegance with 3 km of shop windows, where 160 stores. The world famous mall that has every imaginable brand name store (Armani, Gucci, Prada, Loro Piano, Yves St. Laurent, Ferragamo, Versace, Missoni, Bally, Bruno Magli, Dolce and Gabbana, Cerrutti……to literally name only a few) at discounted prices. The mall sells last year’s fashions at prices that seem a third of what can be found in Milan.
    Then of course there is Milan. Milan is a short train-ride away for those in search of some city life. Milan has been crowned the fashion capital of the world thanks to designers such as Versace, Prada and Armani. Via Monte Napoleone and Via della Spiga with its designer showrooms and boutiques are two of the most elegant, if expensive, shopping streets in Europe. Milan also has sections of town dedicated to antiques, art and house supplies.

    In Milan is to see Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper. In the heart of Milan is the rose-colored marble Gothic Duomo. Not far from the Duomo is the world’s most famous opera house - La Scala. Throughout the city are symbols of Milan’s illustrious past including the 16 Corinthian-style columns from early Roman settlements. These are placed just outside the 4th century Basilica di San Lorenzo. Also impressive is the Sforza Castle and Museum of Ancient Art. St. Ambrose’s Basilica and Museum is interesting as the Basilica was founded in the 4th century by the Bishop Ambrose who baptized St. Augustine here.

    Lake Como boasts some of the very finest Italian cuisine, and is home to a number of world-class restaurants. Check out the back streets and old lakeside towns to find some of the less well known but excellent restaurants.

    Lake Como boat hire is possibly the finest way to experience the Lake in its full splendour. One has not seen Lake Como if it hasn’t been experienced from the water. There are numerous touring companies that can take large or small groups for tours of the lake which can include a refreshing swim in the lake. A wonderful day is to take the morning to explore the lake by boat. Stop for a long lunch at the Locanda dell’ Isola Comacina and return to the Villa by late afternoon.

    Outdoor Activities: biking, mountain biking, hiking, boating, paragliding and windsurfing.
    There are numerous hikes and walking trails in and around Lake Como. Around the lake, through the woodlands and up through the hills and mountains offer an enormous variety of hiking possibilities, from easy walks for families to the more difficult for skilled hikers.
    For water sports lovers it is possible to spend entire days sailing or kayaking, windsurfing and motor boating, water skiing and canoeing, wakeboarding and kitesurfing. In Como there is even a hydroplane piloting school.
    Lake Como can also be dicovered by bicycle. Scenic roads, and alternative routes to those followed by the main traffic and some real cycle paths offer the visitor an alternative way of visiting various parts of the lake.
    Lake Como has also several golf courses which can be easily reached by car. 8 Golf courses are within 50 km from the villa: Golf Club Carimate, Golf Club Menaggio & Cadenabbia, Golf Club Lanzo, Golf Club Ponticello, La Pinetina Golf Club, Golf Club le Robinie, Golf Club Villa d'Este, Green Club Lainate.


    Please note: the Google Maps are only approximative, the exact address will be given after finalized booking.

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    Villa Balbiano


    Ground floor:

    The palatial interior contains 6460 sq. ft, over three floors recently fully renovated by the French decorator Jacques Garcia. The main entrance leads to the magnificent lobby decorated with original frescoes, surrounded by a dining room, a library, a winter garden and three salons. All these rooms have marble floors and original frescoes on the walls and ceilings. Adjacent are the services rooms: the kitchen and a covered terrace with working fireplace for outdoor dining.

    First floor:

    On the first floor, the lake view gallery leads to the studio, the master suite and the guest suite surrounds the Cathedral ceiling Central Salon.

    Second floor:

    A further marble staircase leads to the second-floor accommodations, comprising four luxurious bedrooms ensuite with their marble bathrooms, overlooking the Cathedral ceiling Central Salon. All the rooms are beautifully furnished with antiques. A boat can be rented and parked in the private dockyard to enjoy the charms of the lake.

    Description of each suite:

    • Suite 1: Double bedroom, en suite marble bathroom with shower and bathtub, TV
    • Suite 2: Double bedroom, en suite marble bathroom with shower, Safe, TV
    • Suite 3: Double bedroom, en suite marble bathroom with shower and bathtub, TV
    • Suite 4: Double bedroom, en suite marble bathroom with shower and bathtub, TV
    • Suite 5: Double bedroom, en suite marble bathroom with shower, Lounge area, TV
    • Suite 6: Master double bedroom, en suite bathroom with shower and bathtub, Terrace 



    Completely renovated this part of the property sleeps up to 8 people in 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms:

    •  Bedroom 1: Double bedroom, shared access to bathroom (shower) with bedroom 2, TV
    • Bedroom 2: Double bedroom, shared access to bathroom (shower) with bedroom 1, TV
    • Bedroom 3: Double bedroom, shared access to bathroom (shower) with bedroom 4, TV
    • Bedroom 4: Double bedroom, shared access to bathroom (shower) with bedroom 3, TV 



    This lovely independent house is located in the back part of the garden. It sleeps up to 8 people, in 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms:

    • Bedroom 1: Double bedroom, en suite bathroom with shower and bathtub
    • Bedroom 2: Double bedroom, en suite bathroom with shower and bathtub
    • Bedroom 3: Double bedroom, en suite bathroom with shower
    • Bedroom 4: Double bedroom, en suite bathroom with shower

    Please note that this house is simpler than the other accommodations.

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    The estate can be occupied by a maximum of 28 adults plus some kids.

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