Villa Serbelloni has a very ancient story, property of the Sfondrati family in 1533, became property of Count Alessandro Serbelloni who gave to the estate his body and his soul.
The external aspect, ample but simple wasn’t modified, but the inside was carefully decorated, from the vaulted ceiling, to the paintings and other art’s objects. The Duke Serbelloni, anyway, was more into the garden than the villa, he spent incredible amounts of money, made built tracks practicable for wheeled traffic, avenues and paths, for an extension of 18 km.
The Duke died in Bellagio in 1826, the villa passed to his sons, Giovanni Battista and Ferdinando, and it started to decay progressively after their death; but since 1870 their heirs leased it out to Antonio Mella who made it a depandance of the Grande Bretagne Hotel; in 1907 they sold it to a swiss society that made it the Serbelloni Hotel. The Hotel was bought by the Princess Ella Walker and finally left as bequeath to the Rockefeller foundation in 1959. Today the villa is used as place for meetings and stay.
The villa gave hospitality to several famous people, when it was propriety of Sfonderati : the Emperor Massimiliano I, Leonardo da Vinci, Lodovico il Moro, Bianca Sforza, the Cardinal Borromeo. During the XIX century: Pellico, Moroncelli, the Emperor Francesco, the Queen Victoria, the Kaiser William, Umberto I, writers as Manzoni, Grossi and Pindemonte.
photo by: steinbock.bonnie