Eight hectares of monumental trees along with stunning flowers and plant-life surround an art collection that spans several centuries. Where else but Villa Carlotta, the historic abode overlooking Lake Como. It’s no surprise that Britain’s famed newspaper The Telegraph listed it as one of the reasons to travel to Italy after the pandemia - since the 1600s, the prestigious residence of Tremezzo has been a dream of beauty caressing the senses. Without the Clerici family of Milan it would not exist, but it was an official in service to Napoleon, Giovanni Battista Sommariva, who really embellished it with magnificent works of art. Its name comes from Princess Carlotta of Prussia who was given the villa as a wedding gift when she married the Grand Duke Georg II of Saxony. It is considered one of Italy’s most beautiful parks - a kingdom of camellias and azaleas, rhododendrons and roses, citrus fruit and centuries-old trees. Here, every stroll is a botanical journey around the world and a glimpse at the history of Europe’s gardens - there is an Italian section, a romantic section, a rock garden, a tropical garden, all to be discovered along with the cool valley of ferns, the olive grove or the vegetable garden, cultivated as early as the 1800s. Inside the villa, pastel walls, stucco mouldings and precious furnishings are the backdrop to treasures like The Last Kiss of Romeo and Juliet by Francesco Hayez, the Frieze of Alexander the Great by Bertel Thorvaldsen, as well as the Palamede and the Musa Tersicore by Antonio Canova.
Fragile and magnetic, a young woman stares out at the spectator beyond the canvas - not even its creator could pull himself away from the portrait of Concha Emiliana de Ossa, today in the collec-tion of the Pinacoteca of Brera.