The villa is a jewel of very old origin. Its park occupies the steep peninsula that divides Lake Como into three branches. Tradition has it that this was the place where Pliny the Younger owned a villa called Tragoedia (Tragedy).
The mansion originally dates back to the 1400s. It was built for Marchesino Stanga, lord of the place. In 1788, it was then passed to Count Serbelloni, who belonged to one of the noblest and wealthiest Lombardian family.
Count Serbelloni dedicated himself to the villa, creating a wide park with carriage tracks, alleys and marked trails for a total length of about 18 kilometres. After the Count died, the estate passed through different owners and was then transformed into an hotel in the late 1800s. Later it was bought by the American whisky heiress and princess-by-marriage Ella Walker, who decided to live there and to leave it to the Rockefeller Foundation after her death.
The house – which cannot be visited – is now used by the Foundation as a venue for conferences and residency programs for scholars, scientists and artists. You can visit the amazing gardens by joining a guided walking tour.
The park boasts picturesque walks, a luxurious vegetation with both local and exotic plants, garden terracing, sculptures and grottos.
On the way from the Tower in Bellagio to the top of the promontory, you can also enjoy breathtaking views over the mid-lake area with its three branches and the Pre-Alps.