Villa Melzi

Villa Melzi

A Milanese politician esteemed by Napoleon Bonaparte, who first appointed him Vice President of the Italian Republic and later Duke of Lodi, Francesco Melzi d’Eril (1753- 1816) was an open-minded man, also when it came to landscape gardening.

His decision to buy the lakefront of Bellagio in 1805 and to transform it into an English-style garden to enhance his summer residence, was a stroke of genius. The design of the villa was entrusted to the architect Giocondo Albertolli and that of the garden to the architect Luigi Canonica and the agronomist Luigi Villoresi, who had already done some of their finest work at the Royal Palace in Monza.

In a few years, the villa and gardens were completed to the satisfaction of the Duke and his nephew Giovanni Francesco who would inherit the property and continue the work. Entering from the Bellagio side, visitors are immersed in the perfect harmony between the rigorous Neoclassical style that informs the architectural elements, (the villa, the orangery, the Melzi Chapel) and the lush plant life typical of Romantic exoticism. Just inside the gate there is a Japanese garden with 25 Acer palmatum planted on the edge of a pond, alongside plants that like shade. This area was laid out in the last century when the complex was inherited by the Dukes Gallarati Scotti, who still devote themselves to its upkeep today.

A long avenue of plane trees runs parallel to the lake shore. In the garden there are sculptural groups, such as Dante and Beatrice by G.B. Comolli, a gazebo in the Moorish style, and statues from various periods. The rich botanical heritage includes azaleas, rhododendrons, camelias and two rare Mexican pines: a Pinus montezumae and a Pinus michoacana.


Villa Melzi d’Eril 

Lungolario Manzoni 22021 Bellagio Ingresso da Bellagio o Loppia

Tel. 339 4573838


Tratto da “I GIRADINI”, Grandi Giardini Italiani ( – CCIAA Como, Provincia di Como. Intera guida consultabile all’indirizzo

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