The Villa Antica and Luchino Visconti
In the park of Villa Erba there is one of the most important historic houses on Lake Como.
The main building, overlooking the lake, shows impressive volumes and monumental architectural and decorative lines.
Built in the late 1800s, in 1972 the Villa Antica was the location for the editing of the film “Ludwig”, the last of the famous “German trilogy” by director Luchino Visconti (1906-1976). A choice dictated by the deep bond with this home, owned by his family and where he spent many summers of his childhood.
The transformation of the place
In 1986, following the sale of much of the land, a congress exhibition complex designed by architect Mario Bellini was added to the park, which with its transparent structure recalls the nineteenth-century “winter gardens”.
The garden and its monumental trees
The garden of Villa Erba is unique on Lake Como: it is the only one that is almost entirely flat. An ‘English’ style garden, set on the masses, the volumes and the colours offered by groups of monumental trees.
A design model probably characterizing this place from the beginning and afterwards respected by the various owners, certainly fascinated by the unique spectacle of the large foliage of lime trees, hackberries, cypresses of the marshes and majestic plane trees, moved by the winds and lake breezes.
A charm that changes during all seasons: from the bare tree structures of the winter months, to the different shades of spring green and the dark and very shady foliage of summer, to the reds and yellows of autumn.
Following a nineteenth-century style setting, in the park there are large grassy and tree-lined spaces, separated from each other by sinuous avenues leading to the lake and the villa, and several mythological statues by the sculptor Mazzuchelli.
Among the botanical beauties of Villa Erba
Starting from the main entrance the bald cypresses form a long avenue parallel to the Via Regina.
Of these trees, a group in the large lawn in front of the Villa Antica is truly unique: six incredible specimens forming a magical place.
Between the Villa Antica and the lake there is an impressive series of ball-shaped boxwoods overlooking the dock and the lake, having the deliberate intention to intermediate between the house and the lake basin.
The plane tree represents one of the botanical characteristics of Lake Como: the specimen shading the pier of the landing stage is majestic.