The Villa Balbianello is situated in a small town called Lenno on the west side of Lake Como. It is open from Easter and throughout the summer and you can get there both by boat shuttle or through the back gate (when opened) although this is a hilly way to get there but very pleasant. It was built in the 1500's by Cardinal Angelo Durini but was last privately owned by the famous Italian arctic explorer Guido Monzino who died in 1988 and left the entire villa estate and gardens to the Italian National Trust. It stays the same today as it did when he died and you can almost feel his presence as you take the guided tour throughout the property. Entrance into the main house is only permitted with an authorised guide (which can be booked) but if you like you can enjoy the magnificent terraced gardens for a small fee. The Villa is famous for its film scenes from Casino Royale and Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones as they were both filmed there. The views are stunning, the flowers glorious and the range of artifacts contained within the house both stunning and priceless. In my view this is the best place to visit on Lake Como. Don't miss out!
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