VILLA D’ESTE, Lago di Como

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Villa d’Este, Lago di Como


 

All worldly cares instantly fall away as you approach the imposing entrance of this incomparable estate. Villa d’Este occupies a stunning location in 10 hectares of elegantly landscaped parkland just north of Milan on the banks of Lake Como, one of the most romantic lakes in the world. Amidst this beauty and glamour, it is one of the few grand hotels worthy of the name. The wonderful views from every corner of this magnificent hotel are unique and it seems that everyone on the terrazza has time for a good conversation: a certain ‘old world class with a contemporary feel’. But this is no time-capsule because, despite its classical atmosphere, Villa d’Este offers a very current and contemporary experience. Villa d’Este was built as a palazzo retreat by Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio in 1568 and was once a private summer residence for guests who included Tsarina Maria Feodorovna and Mark Twain. It became a hotel in 1873 and is considered to be one of the finest examples of architecture and landscaping in the world. Today, Villa d’Este offers 152 rooms; they differ in decor but share the exemplary hospitality that can be expected of one of Europe’s legendary resorts. There are also four private villas within the park, Villa Malakoff, Villa Cima, Villa Garrovo and Mosaic House, for guests who desire even more privacy. The hotel has three restaurants; the Veranda, Il Platano and the Grill. For our first evening, we selected the slightly more informal Grill, where a famous neighbour, George Clooney, occasionally comes to eat. We enjoyed a delicious veal arpaccio and then embarked upon the famous Steak Fiorentina, which was prepared to perfection and made our first evening a real experience. The next evening, we dressed for dinner in the Veranda and enjoyed a delicious spaghetti ala olio with scampi and a branzino for two. You can occupy yourself fully throughout the day; there are tennis courts, an indoor pool and the Spa, the famous Sporting Club which offers every health, beauty and fitness facility. And then there is the unique pool in the lake enjoyed to this day by the jet set. But of course you can also retire for a short siesta in your room; ours had a magnificent view of the lake. We had a marvellous stay and one day I hope to return for the world-renowned Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este where for three days every year the gardens of Villa d’Este host beautiful cars and people with a shared passion for automobiles – old and new.

 
—Copyright 2016 Mart Engelen
 
 

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Villa d’Este, Lago di Como

 
 

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Villa d’Este, Lago di Como