My previous post was all about touring Lake Como by boat. Today I'll show you one of the stops we made on that boat trip. We toured a place called Villa del Balbianello, a grand villa that began life in the 13th century as a Franciscan Monastery. In fact, those two towers you see in the photo above remain from that era.
We stopped at the small boat dock below the villa and then climbed this lovely, green hillside up to the villa where we met a guide ready to take us through this interesting place.
The villa changed hands several times over its life from its days as a monastery to a Cardinal's summer retreat, to an American businessman's European get-away and finally to Count Guido Monzino, a great explorer and the first Italian to climb Mt. Everest.
Monzino did extensive renovations to the villa and filled it with antique furnishings, tapestries, oriental carpets and a vast collection of art works.
My favorite room in the house was the museum-like room filled with items from his many adventures. It included the sled in the center of the room along with climbing equipment and various uniforms.
There was quite a lot to see in this small place. I especially liked seeing the fur clothing he used in so many very cold places.
What an interesting as well as beautiful place to visit. From the beautiful rooms and interesting artifacts to the well manicured grounds, it was a place I will never forget.