Lenno, a pretty small village located in one of the most fascinating parts of the lake called “Tremezzina”, formed by the green peninsula Lavedo where Villa del Balbianello stands in all its splendour.
The town has several buildings considered important works of art, like, for example, the crypt of the parish church S. Stefano, the Romanesque baptistery, and the Abbey of the Acquafredda, situated in the high part of Lenno dominating the whole village. Lenno also enjoys a lovely lakefrontoverlooking the Golfo di Venere (Golf of Venus).
Not far from Lenno is the hamlet of Azzano, where Benito Mussolini and Claretta Petacci were shot dead in 1945 in the area called Giulino.
Lenno is a good starting point for many panoramic walks discovering villas, gardens, Roman findings, quaint villages, restaurants, old Italian architecture, and expansive views.
We reccommend the excursion up to Monte Tremezzo at 1,700 m, from which you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding mountains and Lake Como.
The Villa del Balbianello, built in 1700 on the orders of Cardinal Durini is one of the most beautiful villas of Lake Como with its wonderful panoramic lodge overlooking Bellagio and the Comacina island.
On the highest floor of the property there is a unique museum exhibiting Chinese, African and Colombian art collections, besides antique furniture and travel memoires of the former owner, explorer Guido Monzio, who was passionate about expeditions and a man of great knowledge.
The biggest attraction of the villa is the garden, characterized by terraces and balustrades following the shape of the rugged ground, formed by steep rocks in some points more gentle slopes in other parts.
Today Villa del Balbianello belongs to the Italian Cultural Heritage Fund (FAI).
Opening times: from March 17 to November 11 from 10:00am to 6:00pm. Closed on Mondays and Wednesdays when not national holidays. Prices: Garden: price € 8,00 – juniors aged 4-12 years old € 3,00 – Free for FAI associates.
Bookings required for guided tours for groups of max 15 people.
Tickets for Garden & Villa € 15,00 – juniors aged 4-12 years old € 5,00 – FAI associates and residents € 4,00.
In the old town centre you can visit S. Stefano church with an 11th cent. Crypt and some old pagan and Christian remains. On the left you can admire S. Giovanni Baptistery, rare example of Roman architecture.
Above the village centre at 300m above sea level rises the Abbazia dell’Acquafredda (Acquafredda Abbey) . It was built in 1142 by the Cistercensi monks from Morimondo, who were given the land by Ottone known as Pellegrino da Isola. The building that you see today has a single aisle and two side chapels. It has decorative stucco work and paintings, by various artists including one by Fiamminghino which dates back to 1621.