Villa Carlotta + Villa Montesto, Lake Como

In a place as gorgeous as Lake Como, you’d imagine the only thing to do would be to build villas on the water’s edge, and you’d be right. Luckily, many of these villas are available for tours, the crown jewel being their gardens. I’ll show you two of my favorites.

I was most excited to go back to Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo. I’d remembered they had the very best gardens that wind up the hill. They’ve also got a granita stand just outside the entrace, so of course I stopped for one on the way in. I was right, the villa was absolutely bursting with flowers. The most fragant roses and jasmine, and the most hydrangea I’ve ever seen in one place!

The other villa I really enjoyed was one I hadn’t been to before, Villa Montesto in Varenna. We decided to go inside as well, but you can opt for just gardens if you’d like (honestly, the gardens are the pièce de résistance, so if you aren’t desperate to see inside, don’t bother). Villa Montesto has the most incredible views across the lake, with hidden scultpures and little coves. In the spring, they’ve also got massive wisteria vines!

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