The finest scenery
Villa Pliniana has been built on an inlet of the Lake Como; it is surrounded by lush vegetation and nestled into the rock.
The Villa was built in 1573 around the spring that carries the same name. The name “Pliniana” is inspired to the famous naturalists native of Como, Plinio the Elder and Plinio the Younger, whom, first described the spring and its peculiar intermittence in the first century A.D.. Through time other distinguished scientists, including Leonardo da Vinci and Benedetto Giovio, studied the spring as well.
The construction of the villa is owed to the will of Count Giovanni Anguissola, governor of Como, whom decided to transform the spring and the surrounding land in a place of delight. Through centuries the villa went through alternated periods of great splendor and abandonment. The Visconti, the Canarisi and the Belgiojoso are among families who contributed to the splendor époques of the Villa.
"This lake exceeds anything I ever beheld in beauty [...] But the finest scenery is that of the Villa Pliniana [...] The scene from the colonnade is the most extraordinary, at once and the most lovely that eye ever beheld. Above you from among the clouds, as it were descends a waterfall of immense size, broken by the woody rocks into a thousand channels to the lake. On the other side is seen the blue extent of the lake and the mountains speckled with sails and spires."
Many famous guests over the years visited the Pliniana: among them the poet Percy Shelley, who left the wonderful description of the villa above mentioned, Gioacchino Rossini who composed Tancredi in the villa itself, Napoleon whom “is said” to have played on the still existing billiard, Antonio Fogazzaro who chose the villa as the set of his novel Malombra, later transformed by Mario Soldati into an homonymous movie in 1942 set in the villa itself. The villa has been visited by many famous writers (Byron, Foscolo, Berchet, Stendhal), musicians (Liszt and Bellini), scientists (Volta, Spallanzani and Ghezzi) and monarchs (Joseph II of Austria and Margherita of Savoy).
Today, after a long and meticulous restoration work that combined the preservation of the original structure with a modern architectural approach, Villa Pliniana has been returned to its former splendor.
The villa is currently managed by the Sereno Hotels hotel group www.serenohotels.com.