Close to our hotel on Lake Como is the famous Villa Carlotta. Built in 1690 by the Clerici family, this beautiful old Villa is home to a beautiful botanical garden and features world class artwork inside it's many rooms. Unfortunately you are not allowed to photograph inside so today I'll share with you some of the views from outside this beautiful place. (click on the photos to see the larger version)
The Villa sits right on the edge of the lake with only a small two lane street separating it from the water. There are many grand homes in this area but none feature the grandeur of the front gates and garden area like Villa Carlotta does.Statues dot the front of the fence line with many of them representing some fairy tale or other. I loved the wings on this one!
The Italian Renaissance is very clear in some of the styles you find in the statuary around the perimeter and inside the gates of the Villa.
The romance of Villa Carlotta starts at the gates. I counted six statues at the entrance but was told there were even more if you follow the fence line.
Inside the gates you find this beautiful little entryway garden.I was fortunate enough to be able to hang out near this fountain in the early morning while waiting for my fellow travelers to make it up the staircase to the inside of the Villa. Patience is how I get so many photos without many, or any, people in them. The bonus is that I also get a few moments of total peace and solitude while waiting!
But the staircase was my highlight of Villa Carlotta. It's romance swept me away.
Each level of the staircase had a hidden feature. One of them had this little pond of turtles!They were actually quite friendly and came right up to me. Of course he was searching out food and hopeful that I had some, I didn't, but it was great anyway!
One of the levels had more Calla Lillies. There were some at the bottom level as well but not as beautiful as these tucked back into what surely must have been a fountain at some point.
About halfway up I stopped and looked back and was just enthralled! The gates plus the lamps and statues were just so beautiful it took my breath away!
I continued up to the top and nearly stepped on this little guy! As I walked around the gardens, which, sadly we didn't have nearly enough time to tour, I kept coming upon more and more lizards!
Looking back from the very top you get a beautiful view of Lake Como, the manicured greenery, the gates and fountain below. Beautiful!
It was clear that the gardens were very manicured. Curving waves of different flowers wound their way around the building pathways.
Spring is apparently the time of year to go. The Villa is known for it's azalea bushes and, as you can see here, there is a good reason why! They were in full bloom and simply gorgeous.
I'm a "flower person" so I really loved walking through the gardens. There are several "wooded" pathways as well but we chose to spend some time in the gift shop before leaving as well as taking a bit of time to walk along the waterfront. But I simply loved Villa Carlotta and would love to go back again someday.
Next week we'll head into the town of Como! In the meantime you can always follow me on Instagram and get new beautiful views every day! Just follow shutterbugtraveler there!