In 2009 Forbes chose it from 400 hotels as the ‘most beautiful in the world’. The Villa d’Este stands in Cernobbio, on the shores of the most romantic lake in the world: the amazing Lake Como.

And with such a seductive and exclusive backdrop only an equally seductive and exclusive building as this one could exist. Famed across the whole world, as are the characters who have visited it and still do, the Villa d’Este has made history and continues to do so.

Originally called the Villa Garrovo, from the name of the stream which still crosses the park today, its origins date back to far-off 1568, when the architect Pellegrino Tibaldi was commissioned by Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio to build him a summer residence. In 1815 it passed to Caroline of Brunswick, the wife of the future king of England, George IV, and she renamed it the ‘New Villa d’Este’. A number of illustrious owners followed, until in 1873 Baron Ciani turned a part of the building into what it is today, a hotel.

Poetry is the leitmotiv not only of the landscape but also of the building. The park covers ten hectares and is a foremost example of Italian baroque. It has been a national monument since 1913. A plane tree, now 35 meters high, has cast its shadow here for five centuries and given relief from the sun to king and queens, cardinals, heads of state and every shape and size of aristocracy past and present.

Cernobbio, October 2016