is the destination
in our visiting tour on Lake Como. A list of destinations is available, each with an audioguide. We travel northbound, from Como to Piona.
Largo Luchino Visconti 4
tel. [+39] 031 349207
Villa Erba is on the edge of Cernobbio, in Largo Luchino Visconti, along the Strada Regina from Como to Cernobbio.
In 1897 Luigi Erba, brother of a well-known Lombard industrialist operating in the pharmaceutical sector, commissioned architects Gian Battista Borsani and Angelo Savoldi to build him a new house, called Villa Erba
, on land where a Cluniac Benedictine monastery had stood since the 15th century.
The features of the new building, on a square plan, include porticos on all four façades, a tower and broad steps leading down towards the lake.
In 1922 ownership was passed on to his daughter Carla, wife of duke Giuseppe Visconti di Modrone: the couple had a son, Luchino Visconti
, the celebrated director of films including The Leopard
and Death in Venice
. Luchino spent part of his childhood at Villa Erba where it’s said he amused himself frightening tourists who were strolling along the lakeside. During World War Two the building was requisitioned by the German army for the use of its officers.
Today Villa Erba provides a venue for trade fairs, international congresses
and concerts. The modern exhibition facility built in its grounds was designed by architect Mario Bellini, who devised it as a contemporary interpretation of 18th-century greenhouses.