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Villa del Balbianello

Unnamed Road, 22016 Lenno Como, Italy


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If this historic villa looks familiar, it’s because it has been featured in a number of films, including Casino Royale and A Month by the Lake. Built for a Cardinal in the late 18th century on the site of a former monastery, it has interiors filled with whimsical objects and artifacts of its former owner Guido Monzino, an explorer and one of the first Italians to climb Mount Everest. After his death in 1988, the Italian National Trust assumed control of the home-cum-museum, whose fanciful furnishings include such rare objects as African terracotta masks, a 99-piece collection of prints of Lake Como and its villas and the sled used during Monzino’s 1971 expedition to the North Pole. Particularly interesting is the secret passageway leading from one building to the main house, which was built during the Cardinal’s tenancy as an escape route should Red Brigades attack. Indagare members can contact the Bookings Team to arrange a guided tour.

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