Lake Como has always been a popular retreat for aristocrats and wealthy people ever since the Roman times, and a very popular tourist attraction, which boasts many artistic and cultural gems. It is famous for its numerous villas and palaces (such as Villa Olmo, Villa Serbelloni and Villa Carlotta). Currently, many celebrities have or had homes on the shores of Lake Como, such as George Clooney. Lake Como is widely regarded as being one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.
Villa Dozzio was built in 1852 by architect Clericetti for Bianca Bignami Cabrini. In eclectic style, typical of that period. Overlooking the mouth of Breggia river, is surrounded by a large garden with tall trees and monumental cedar pines with box hedges and winding paths.
Villa Saporiti was built between the 1790 and the 1793 for marquise Eleonora Villani it belonged to this noble family until 1858 when the heirs of the marquise sold it to marquis Marcello Rocca Saporiti, whose name has been given to the villa. Although some latest changes, the building deserves its original look, both in the structure and in most of the rooms. This villa is better known with the name “La Rotonda” because its lake-facing side shows a big central rounded body, divided by a sequence of half-columns and windows, that are surmounted by medallions representing pagan water-related divinities. The inside offers a huge central elliptical hall, with an arched ceiling, and a big staircase sculptured by Luigi Gagnola that brings to the first floor, a small drawing-room inspired to ancient Rome with a mosaic floor, the library, Corinthian columns and statues from earlier 800. Many important people stayed in Villa Saporiti between the end of the XVIII century and the beginning of the XIX century: Napoleon was the first important guest, visting Como lake in 1797. In 1950 the Provincial Administration of Como bought the villa and, after some necessary restorations, choose it as its headquarter.
The construction of Villa Olmo began in 1797 and was commissioned by marquis Innocenzo Odescalchi to the swiss architect Simone Cantoni. It was designed to be a summer retreat for the nobles, hence it was built alongside the lake; the villa was named after a remarkable elm planted in the middle of the ornate gardens, no longer alive today. It was acquired in 1924 by the municipality of Como and today is open to the public only during expositions, while the lakeside gardens are freely accessible at daytime.
Villa Gallia is the most ancient villa of Borgovico Street. It has been raised, as holidays residence, in 1615 by Abbot Marco Gallio, nephew of Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, on the area where previously rose the Gioviano Museum, it was built for Paolo Giovio Bishop’s will in earlier XVIth century to gather his paintings collection. The building belonged to the noble family until 1772 and it was bought in 1957 by the Municipal Administration of Como, which took care of its restoration. Most of the original figurative and architectonic patrimony that had been partially modified by the many owners was recovered. It has a simple structure and it shows, on both facades, a three arched portico with twin columns at the ground floor, windows on two levels with a central balcony and, on the lake-facing side, a balustrade adorned with statues.