Villa Monastero

Lake Como

At Villa Monastero elegant balustrades and statues sit amid exotic shrubs; spiky yucca trees frame lake and mountain views. The villa itself is a former convent that was turned into a private residence in the 18th century – which explains the giddy opulence of some of the 11 rooms.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lake Como attractions

1. Villa Cipressi Botanical Gardens

0.17 MILES

The villa itself is a hotel, but the steeply terraced grounds are open to anyone willing to part with €6. The gardens bloom with cipressi (cypress trees),…

2. Castello di Vezio

0.22 MILES

High above the terracotta rooftops of Varenna, the imposing Castello di Vezio offers magnificent views over Lake Como. The 13th-century building was once…

3. Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista

0.28 MILES

Much overlooked in all the excitement about Varenna's villas are the lovely 14th-century frescoes, somewhat damaged but nevertheless full of colour,…

4. Villa Serbelloni

1.76 MILES

The lavish gardens of Villa Serbelloni cover much of the promontory on which Bellagio sits. The villa has been a magnet for Europe's great and good,…

5. Basilica di San Giacomo

1.86 MILES

Bellagio's most interesting Romanesque church is the Basilica di San Giacomo, built in the 12th century by master builders from Como.

6. Orrido

2.54 MILES

Once an industrial centre, Bellano (5km north of Varenna) is a sleepy lakeside town with a singular sight: the Orrido, a powerful waterfall where the…

7. Villa Melzi d'Eril

2.59 MILES

The grounds of neoclassical Villa Melzi d’Eril are a highlight among Lake Como's (many) delightful places. The villa was built in 1808 for one of Napoleon…

8. Villa Carlotta

2.99 MILES

The star of the show on a lake shore not bereft of elegant touches, the Villa Carlotta is a fabulous fusion of neoclassical architecture and harmonious…