- Art & Culture
Autumn trip to villas and castles
An autumn adventure of history & beauty: explore the autumn charm of Lombardy's villas and castles.
Lombardy transforms into a work of art in the autumn, with the leaves turning from green to red, orange and gold, creating a breathtaking show. However, it isn’t just nature that offers up this spectacle: villas and castles reveal all their magnificence, showing centuries-old stories and fascinating architecture.
Autumn in Lombardy is a magical moment for exploring historical residences, admiring their architectural details and being enchanted by the changing colours of the surrounding landscapes. Are you ready for this adventure amidst villas and castles?
Villa Borromeo Visconti Litta in Lainate (MI)
A real architectural and historical gem awaits in Lainate, in the heart of Lombardy: the magnificent Villa Borromeo Visconti Litta. This luxurious home, set in a centuries-old park of rare beauty, is an elegant representation of the region's aristocratic past.
Villa Borromeo Visconti Litta stands majestically, with its façade that tells its story via its architectural details and precious decorations. It was built in the 16th century, on the wishes of Count Pirro I Visconti Borromeo, inspired by the Tuscan Medici villas. The Count had the gardens created and the Palazzo delle Acque, more commonly known as Ninfeo, considered to be one of the most important and significant examples of its kind, especially because it is still functional, was built.
The villa's timeless beauty and its impressive position in the Lombardy landscape makes it an ideal place for spending a day discovering times gone by, with its elegance and history, in an autumnal setting that makes the experience even more magical.
For more information about times and costs for the visit, please consult the Villa’s official website.
Palazzo Arese Borromeo in Cesano Maderno (MB)
The magnificent Palazzo Arese Borromeo, an architectural work that is the epitome of past elegant and greatness, stands in the pretty setting of Cesano Maderno, province of Monza and Brianza.
Palazzo Arese Borromeo is a historical and cultural jewel. Construction began in the sixteenth century with Bartolomeo Senior, but the main part was built from 1654 to 1670 by Count Bartolomeo III Arese. Its huge, richly decorated façade is telling of its importance as an aristocratic residence. On entering the palace, we are transported into a world of sophistication and opulence. The rooms with their frescoed walls and ceilings and precious details provide an authentic glimpse of the lifestyle and art of times gone by. The Palazzo's decorations, recently returned to their ancient splendour thanks to careful restoration, are one of the most important examples in the region. One distinguished element of the building are the "Boscherecce", portrayals of natural scenes that draw the spectator into a world of recreated, mythological landscapes, transporting them into a fascinating dimension.
Outside, in the northern wing of the building and adjacent to the ground floor, we find the Ninfeo, embellished with mosaic decorations, water and plants. On the palazzo's southern side, there is an Italian garden, connected to the loggia and the fountains positioned along the central axis. The northern edge of the Italian garden has large lawns.
The Palazzo can be visited all year round, both for guided tours and free visits.
Villa Olmo and Villa del Grumello in Como
An unforgettable experience awaits those who head off to discover Como, where two architectural and landscape jewels, Villa Olmo and Villa del Grumello, stand proud as symbols of elegance and beauty.
Villa Olmo, a magnificent mansion with a thousand years of history, bewitches the eyes of anyone drawing close to its shores. Standing on the shore of Lake Como, this Neoclassical villa blends harmoniously into the surrounding landscape. Its sumptuous rooms and perfect gardens are an ode to the past's beauty and cultural wealth. Here, the autumnal atmosphere is particularly magical, when the leaves turn with their warm colours and the lake provides a breathtaking reflection of all the glorious views.
Villa Olmo and the park can be visited free of charge. More information can be found on the Villa's official website.
Just a short distance away, Villa del Grumello stands on the shores of the lake, like another pearl. Its garden on the lakeside provides a gorgeous setting, where man-made art blends with natural beauty. Walking along the paths, surrounded by centuries-old trees and neat gardens, is a perfect way to immersing oneself into the peacefulness of autumn.
The Villa del Grumello can be visited from April to October (excluding Saturdays). More information is available on the Villa's official website.
Villa della Porta Bozzolo (Casalzuigno, VA) and Arcumeggia
A trip to northern Lombardy takes us on the discovery of an interesting pair: Villa della Porta Bozzolo and the picturesque village of Arcumeggia, a combination of history, art and nature.
Villa della Porta Bozzolo, in Casalzuigno, is an architectural and landscape work of art. This mansion is surrounded by a monumental Italian garden, while its magnificent interiors tell us the stories of noble families that have lived in it over the centuries, offering a glimpse of aristocratic life from the past. The villa, saved in the nineteenth century by the senator Camillo Bozzolo, who left family treasures and a valuable library, has regained its original magnificence thanks to the restoration by Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI). It is still an oasis of pleasure where you can spend a whole day, in its luxuriant grounds and also exploring its wonderfully restored interiors.
All the information about visiting and purchasing tickets are available on the FAI website.
But the magic doesn’t finish here. Continuing on our journey, we come to the village of Arcumeggia, an oasis of outdoor art. Its roads are home to unique frescoes, painted by local artists who have transformed the village into an open-air art gallery. Each corner reveals a work of art, from realism to fantasy, history and imagination.
From the elegance of the villa to the creativity of Arcumeggia, we are on an exciting journey through time and art. In autumn, when nature is transformed by warm colours, both places exude a charming and memorable atmosphere.
Vittoriale degli italiani in Gardone Riviera (BS)
We find this place of exceptional historical and cultural importance in Gardone Riviera, in the province of Brescia: the Vittoriale degli Italiani. This majestic residence, designed, desired and inhabited by the famous poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, is a symbol of passion, creativity and commitment.
The Vittoriale is much more than a simple home. It is a monument that comprises several buildings, gardens and works of art, all connected with D’Annunzio’s life and works. The unique atmosphere felt here is enriched even further by the historical artefacts, trophies and memories linked to the artist's feats.
Exploring the Vittoriale means entering D’Annunzio's mind and his creative vision. From the details of the bedrooms to the pretty gardens, every corner of this estate has a fascinating story to tell, and offers a unique view of this historical personality's life.
The Vittoriale degli Italiani represents a special connection between past and present, a place that leads s to reflect on Italian culture and identity. Its location in Gardone Riviera, looking out onto Lake Garda, adds a further touch of natural beauty to this cultural experience.
All the information about entrance, prices, guided tours and events is available on the Vittoriale’s official website.