I love action movies especially those that make me travel across the world in 2 hours. The best examples are James Bond movies as most of the movies scenes take place in different locations. The 2006 Casino Royale took Craig Daniel to the scenic landscapes of Lake Como in Italy. There was also a very special appearance of a stunning villa known as Villa del Balbianello. On my visit of Lake Como, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to step into the world of James Bond for a day.
City: Lenno, Como Lake, Italy
Villa del Balbianello
Villa del Balbianello is located on a wooded peninsula overlooking Lake Como. It was built in the 12th century as a Franciscan Monastery but later purchased by Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini in 1785. He turned it into a villa for summer use and thanks to him, he added a loggia, which added a second panorama and viewing point over the lake. Since then, the villa has known different owners and has been frequented by prominent Italian figures.
Right now, the villa is property of the National Trust of Italy known as Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI). It is also the most visited property owned by the FAI. The villa is also used as a wedding venue for some lucky brides and grooms!
On the steps of James Bond…
On the way from Como to Lugano, I had a stop at Lenno to visit Villa del Balbianello. I knew about it because of James Bond so I decided to follow on his steps. On arrival to Lenno, my friend suggested to take a small taxi boat from Lenno to the villa. It was a great idea as it couldn’t get more fun than that! The small boat trip felt like a private trip as it’s small and only few other people joined us. It costs 7 euros. It’s a refreshing trip and takes only few minutes to arrive to the villa’s private pier.
On arrival to the villa, I paid 7 euros for a garden-only visit. It was a discounted price as part of the garden was overtaken by a wedding ceremony. The normal price is 10 euros. The garden was so beautiful I couldn’t describe it but my pictures can show you. A picture is worth a thousand words…
Even though there were many people around, the peace and quiet in the garden are priceless. I could sit on a bench and admire the views over Como Lake without being bothered by the action around. A wedding was being planned in the garden, some tourists were taking their engagement pictures and some others were kissing in front of the epic scenery. Indeed, Villa del Balbianello is a very romantic place.
How to get to Villa del Balbianello
- By Lake: Take a water-taxi boat from the Lenno Dock in direction of Villa del Balbianello Private Pier for 7 euros per person.
- By walk: if you wish not to take a boat from Lenno Dock, it’s possible to use the pedestrian access to the villa by walking 20 minutes trail.
- From Como: Driving takes around 30 minutes. It’s possible to take Bus SPT C10 to Lenno.
- From Milan: It’s possible to take a train to Como Lago Nord and then make your way to Lenno.
- Opening hours: From mid-March to mid-November: 10am – 6pm.
Open every day, except Mondays and Wednesday (unless public holidays).
Entry to the Garden is still possible up to 5.15 pm.
Last entry in the Villa 4.30 pm according to availability.
- More information here.
Have you ever been to Villa del Balbianello?