Villa Carlotta Lake Como
On our first day, we took an early ferry from the Bellagio marina right by our hotel across the lake to Tremezzo. I wish my commute was this beautiful!
Getting around Lake Como is really simple thanks to a very efficient ferry system. You can purchase a day pass for a flat rate or you purchase trips as you need them from the office at each ferry stop. I recommend bringing cash to buy your tickets.
We had plans to visit two villas, starting with Villa Carlotta since it opens earlier at 9:00 AM. Villa Carlotta actually has its own convenient ferry stop right out front. However, if you happen to get off at the Tremezzo ferry stop, it is only a short walk to the villa.
Villa Carlotta is named for the daughter of Princess Marianne of Prussia, who was given the property as a wedding present from her mother and died a few years later during childbirth. The property original belonged to the Clerici family who rose to prominence as successful silk merchants.
Ironically, the property was eventually sold to Giovanni Battista Sommariva, a politician who was overlooked for Napoleon's Vice President of the Republic of Italy in favor of Francesco Melzi d'Eril, who's property is just across the lake in Bellagio (remember here). After failing to obtain the vice president position, Sommariva retired as an art collector. He also renovated the house, adding the clock on the facade and the balconies to better enjoy the lake view.
Eventually the property became entrusted to a charitable foundation and turned into a museum which we can tour today. You can take a guided tour or you can explore on your own. The property is really beautiful and the museum collection is pretty impressive as well. The villa closes from early December to mid-March, so be sure to check the opening times on the website.
After our visit, we took the ferry from Tremezzo to Lenno to visit Villa del Balbianello. We ended the day with a great meal at a restaurant called Far Out back in Bellagio.