Villa Balbiano – The Ultimate Guide

Villa Balbiano gardens - Arte de Vie

Villa Balbiano: Lake Como’s most glamorous retreat

The movie House of Gucci fascinated the world with one of Italy’s most captivating and dramatic stories. Through the decades and generations, the Gucci family becomes one of the most notorious in the world, thanks to its incomparable creativity in the fashion and luxury industry. However,  any story of power and prestige is also characterized by a dark side: intrigues, betrayals and, in this case, even murder.

The set of these thrilling events is a majestic estate on Lake Como: Villa Balbiano, a true earthly paradise for art, architecture and natural beauty.  A place you couldn’t find anywhere but in Italy, a mansion that exudes pure Gucci vibes, thanks to its stunning frescoes, fine interiors and gardens, luxurious furniture and pieces of art all over the place.

In other words, elegance with no compromise, style without any renounce, beauty without a single stain of imperfection.

Welcome to Villa Balbiano, Lake Como’s most glamorous retreat.

Villa Balbiano from a Riva boat
Villa Balbiano from a Riva boat – Lake Como Experience

Villa Balbiano: a history of magnificence

Villa Balbiano’s beauty is inherently present since its earliest days. Back in the 15th century, an ancient Praetorium dominated the little village of Ossuccio, until a day in which Lake Como flooded it and devastated its interiors. One century after the tragic event, the palace had been transformed into a lavish private residence by the Giovio local family, who then sold it to Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio. The prelate used Villa Balbiano as his private residence, seeking peace from the tedious worldly affairs, and finding it in Lake Como’s secluded atmosphere.

At the end of the 17th century, another Cardinal, Angelo Maria Durini. At the time, spiritual and temporal power often overlapped, and Cardinal Durini often hosted extravagant get-togethers for Lake Como’s high society. Dance after dance, feast after feast, Villa Balbiano made it through the decades, passing back to the Giovio’s family after Durini’s death, and unfortunately falling into a state of decay during the whole 19th century.

Did you know? Villa Balbiano definitely sounds like another masterpiece of Lake Como: Villa Balbianello, located in the village of Lenno. The two villas, funnily enough, share just a part of their name (“-ello”, in Italian, is one of the suffixes  utilized to create the diminutive of a name). Nevertheless, the two villas are very different in terms of architecture, decorations and history. Lake Como Experiences has prepared a complete article for Villa Balbianello, full of information, history and fun facts. Find it here!

It was just after World War II that Villa Balbiano knew a thorough restoration by Swiss engineer Vuillomenet, who also renewed the garden in pure Italian style, planting gorgeous trees of wisterias, palms and the luminous olea fragrans. 

Nowadays, Villa Balbiano is one of Lake Como’s most captivating locations, as well as one of the most sought-after wedding venues in the world.

Recommended experience

Luxury boat tour lake como 2


Luxury Boat Tour in Lake Como

The E26 Classic is a sporty 8-meter luxury tender featuring a distinctive and refined style, striking the ideal balance between vintage charm and modern simplicity, seamlessly blending beauty with comfort.

Villa Balbiano: an otherworldly wedding venue, and much more!

Villa Balbiano is soaked in elegance and luxury vibes, and it inspires its guest in organizing lavish ceremonies, parties and private events. Lucky for them, there’s an efficient service of wedding and event management, thanks to which the most romantic (or wildest) dreams can become true.

Book your stay or event,  and live the ultimate luxury

Starstruck travelers and movie fans can rejoice: the mansion of House of Gucci can now be rented!

Feel just like Maurizio Gucci and book your stay at Villa Balbiano, one of the largest private residences on Lake Como. Villa Balbiano offers six gorgeous bedrooms (plus many others upon request), a fully-equipped kitchen and wine cellar, plus all tidbits you’d’ legitimately expect from a proper villa on Lake Como: an indoor and an outdoor pool, a gym and a cozy massage room, and much more

Did you know? Villa Balbiano and fashion go hand-in-and, as it was the location of choice for the fascinating campaign Versace’s House Party

Villa Balbiano:  a wedding like no other

A wedding in Italy is surely a memorable way to celebrate love.

But a wedding at Villa Balbiano is something else. A unique atmosphere of beauty and sumptuousness will permeate every moment of your celebration: welcome your beloved guests on the private dock overlooking Lake Como, have a breathtaking ceremony in the incredible lakeside garden, and make your romantic memories indelible with an intimate photo shooting around the villa’s frescoes, chandeliers, statues and pergolas.

Once the celebration is over, it’s time to let loose! The interiors of the villa are perfect for an irresistible banquet, and its gorgeous saloon will be the scenery of wild dances and endless toasts.

LCE tip: looking for a classy way to propose? Lake Como Experiences suggests a private sunset cruise departing directly from Villa Balbiano’s dock, toasting with the finest champagne and proposing under a glass moon. S/he will definitely say yes. 

Be seduced by  Lake Como’s views, smells and sensations

Villa Balbiano is surely a parallel universe, with its own atmosphere and surprises. However, just outside it, another paradise awaits. All the beauty and  luxury of Lake Como makes the villa a perfect headquarters for some rewarding exploration: visit the enchanting hamlets of Ossuccio and Tremezzina, sail in pure comfort towards the little jewel of Argegno, or hike through verdant mountains to discover the most secret vistas on Lake Como.

If heaven exists, that’s kind of how it looks.

Villa Balbiano interior pool
Villa Balbiano interior pool – My Private Villa

How to get to Villa Balbiano

Villa Balbiano is located in Ossuccio, a small hamlet, part of the bigger village of Tremezzina. The trip to reach it will lead you through charming scenarios and picture postcard views of Lake Como.

Plenty of options are available for the trip:

By car

From Milan, merge onto the A9 motorway, exit at the Como/Lago di Como sign, and, you’ll soon find indications for Menaggio. Feast your eyes with a panoramic drive on SS340, a road caressing Lake Como and offering soul-lifting views; in about an hour from Como, you’ll reach the small fraction of Ossuccio (part of the Tremezzina village): Villa Balbiano will be just behind the corner.

By Train and Bus

From the train station of Milano Cadorna, easily accessible through the green or red metro lines,  and catch a train bound to the station of Como Lago.

An equally valid option, is to depart from the station of Milano Centrale, catching one of the 2 trains per hour bound to Chiasso (Switzerland) and jump off the train at Como S. Giovanni. Tickets are sold for €4,80, and both trips are 1-hour long.

LCE tip: Milan Malpensa is the closest airport to Lake Como, and one of Italy busiest. It is well-connected to Milano Cadorna with the direct train Malpensa Express.  

Once in Como, the lake will attract you with its pristine waters and calm atmosphere: follow its magnetic force and catch the C10 bus from Stazione Autolinee (just outside Como Lago) or from Como S.Giovanni. The service is offered twice per hour, at a price of around €4 for a one-way trip. This bus will stop in all the main hotspots of Tremezzina, including the hamlet of Ossuccio.

By Boat

For a more poetic experience, reach Tremezzo with a ferry boat (cheaper and more relaxed) or with a hydrofoil (a bit more expensive, but definitely fast and thrilling). The first option will get you to your destination in about 1.45 hours, for a €10.40 fare. The hydrofoil, instead, will take 40 minutes, for a supplement of €4.40 (more info available here).

Villa Balbiano interior
Villa Balbiano interior – My Private Villa

Villa Balbiano: practical information

Here are some tips and tricks to make the most of a stay at Villa Balbiano, carefully selected by the team of Lake Como Experiences!

Rules and capacity of Villa Balbiano

Villa Balbiano can be booked for a minimum stay of 3 nights, and it can host up to 12 guests (18 additional ones on request). An event fee covering up to 200 guests is included; the maximum capacity for outdoor events, however, is a staggering 550 people.

Villa Balbiano: services and commodities

A glamorous stay at one of Italy’s finest mansions, in a perfect Gucci-style: the luxurious services of Villa Balbiano will offer this and more, much more.

In addition to the ones we already mentioned, they include:

  • A boat house with showers;
  • A butler, a villa manager and a concierge;
  • A private chef;
  • Welcome & luggage services;
  • Airport and helicopter transfers;
  • A private chauffeur;
  • Daily linen change.

Get in touch with Villa Balbiano

Villa Balbiano is part of the Heritage Collection, a family-run group aiming at valorizing some of the most awe-inspiring historic Villas, in Lake Como, Italy and in the rest of Europe.

Get in touch with Villa Balbiano:

Telephone: +39 366437762 (WhatsApp included)


Click here for reservations.