Villa d’Este At Lake Como Celebrates Its 150th Season
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Villa d’Este At Lake Como Celebrates Its 150th Season

March 12, 2022 Share

For centuries, no Italian villa has attracted more attention amongst wealthy holiday makers than Villa d’Este.

Since November 1, 2021, Villa d’Este had been closed for the annual offseason, with each of its 152 guestrooms emptied. Furniture is removed and carpets are rolled up, but this month, everything has been put back—polished, cleaned, repaired, with some rooms completely refurbished.

Credit: Villa d’Este

March 2022 marks the start of Villa d’Este’s 150th season, a significant birthday in its long and illustrious history of catering for discerning travellers and gourmets, royals, jet setters and legendary Hollywood stars.

The flag in front of Villa d’Este was raised on March 3 – a traditional ceremony that marks the Villa as open for business.

Credit: Villa d’Este

Guests heading there this summer can choose between the Cardinal Building, once built as a summer residence for Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, the Queen’s Pavilion, named after Caroline of Brunswick, Princess of Wales and Queen of England, and four private villas spread across the extensive estate.

Three of them – Villa Cima, Villa Malakoff and Villa Garrovo – are ideal for families and friends and the Mosaic House is the romantic hideaway for couples.

Credit: Villa d’Este

It was built in 1586 by the architect Pellegrino Pellegrini as a summer retreat for Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, a showpiece for entertaining politicians, intellectuals, and other influential clergymen.

Word quickly spread and it became a haven for wealthy, powerful people looking for a picturesque property to spend their summers at on Lake Como. Caroline of Brunswick, the future queen of England, purchased the property in 1815 to escape a loveless marriage to her first cousin, George IV. Empress Maria Feodorovna, the wife of Tsar Alexander III, booked it for two months in 1868 and stayed two years.

Other notable guests include George Clooney, Robert De Niro, Naomi Campbell, Madonna, John Legend, Lady Gaga, and Alfred Hitchcock, who was a frequent visitor.

Credit: Villa d’Este

To celebrate its grand anniversary, the luxury hotel will be open for the first time over the Christmas season until January 2023. There will also be a big birthday party on June 28 with a mix of events, exhibitions and culinary highlights. 

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Author: Tom Cramp
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