Villa Olmo is the jewel on Como’s lakefront – the most prominent and arguably the most attractive of the villas that line out along the so-called ‘Chilometro della Conoscenza’ from the Villa Saporiti to Villa Sucota – and it is being restored. This Saturday (16th April) marks a milestone in the project as the council (owners of Villa Olmo) open up the Sala del Duca on the first floor of the villa to visitors for the first time.
Each tour is limited to 25 persons, takes about 30 minutes and start from 10.00 on Saturday morning with last entry at 12.00. There should be another opportunity to visit the Sala on Saturday 23rd April but further details are not yet available. Although the room may well be opened on future occasions to the public, it will primarily be available for private or corporate hire.
The Sala del Duca is named after the last private owner of the villa, Duke Visconti di Modrone, who used it as his bedroom. The renovated decoration was executed in the neo-baroque style towards the end of the nineteenth century with a large fresco depicting Fortune by Ernesto Fontana.
The restoration of the Sala, partially financed by a contribution from Bulgari, is just one aspect of a project that will be completed by June next year. Included in the project is restoration to parts of the exterior of the villa, to the statues in the park and the monumental fountain, to the botanical gardens and to the massive greenhouses which represent the finest examples of their kind in Lombardy. Also the nearby Villa Saporiti (owned by the Province and occasionally open to the public) will profit from a face-lift to the ground-floor rooms and to its gardens.