Tour 5 - Villa Carlotta & Menaggio

Arrival to Villa Carlotta, located between Griante and Tremezzo. Visit of the villa, built at the end of the XVIIth century and which now is an interesting museum of neoclassical works, such as the sculpture “Amore e Psiche” of Tavolini, who was a disciple of Canova.
The halls upstairs are really interesting as they still have the original coffered ceilings painted in the tradition of Lombardy. Visit at the terraced garden full of coloured flowers and located at the entrance. The terraces are laid one upon the other and connected by steps. April and May are the best months to admire the beautiful bloom of the rhododendrons and azaleas in more that 150 varieties which, together with numerous exotic essences, embellish the wide English garden located on the sides of the villa and in the upper part of the slope. To arrive at Menaggio from Griante you cross Cadenabbia which, like all the Tremezzina, is a magic place with its villas as well as big international hotels built in the first half of the XIXth century to give hospitality to the many foreign tourists coming during the summer period. Among the main villas we should mention Villa Maria, inspired by a late-sixteen century-style, Villa Guaita inspired by the rococo style and the castle Ronconi inspired by the gothic art. Finally there is Villa Margherita built at the middle of the ‘800 where, according to the tradition, Giuseppe Verdi had composed many parts of his Traviata. You continue to Menaggio, a commercial centre in the west side of the Lario, which can boast a very ancient history: in addition to the finds of the Iron and Bronze Ages, discovered in the near villages, the excavations brought to light many tombs and inscriptions of the Roman period. The artistic heritage is remarkable: we suggest to visit the parish of S. Stefano, of roman origin but rebuilt in the XVIIth century, the church of S.Giusto, which dates back to the same period, and the church of S. Carlo with the beautiful bell gable dedicated to the Borromeo few years after his canonization. You should also walk through the streets of the historic centre which is divided into two parts: the higher one in a medieval style, and the lower one (lake) in a XIXth style. It is also important to visit the ruins of the medieval castle: the bases of two towers linked with a massive wall completely destroyed by the Grigionesi on behalf of Francesco I in 1523. We suggest an excursion by boat from Menaggio to admire the northern part of the Lario, passing the wild coasts of the Sasso Rancio falling sheer to the sea and the Villa La Gaeta, a beautiful construction conceived at the beginning of the XXth century by the architect Coppedè.
Excurions:
Escursioni proposte: S. Martino
Download document:
Escursioni proposte: Tour 5 (448Kb)