Villa Monastero – Lake Como
Villa Monastero is a villa located in the city of Varenna, on the shores of Lake Como. Surrounded by a beautiful botanical garden rich in native and exotic greenery that extends for almost two kilometres on the lake. Villa Monastero is a House-Museum.
Built as a Cistercian female monastery at the end of XII century, it was only later used as a dwelling, with a peculiar Nordic taste thanks to its penultimate owner, the German Walter Kees, who, between 1897 and 1909, renovated the villa and extended its garden.
In 1939 the De Marchi family donated it to be a public house and museum. In 1940 the garden became open to the public, and in 1953 was opened the congress centre, still in use today, and which in years has hosted some scientific conferences, among which, the summer courses of the Italian School of Physics, also attended by more than 34 Noble laureates.
In 1996 the monumental side of Villa Monastero was turned into a House-Museum: 14 completely furnished rooms, which kept the original decorations. Today, the collections and furniture belonged to the old owners are preserved in the villa, and are visited by more than 40000 visitors each year.