How Villa Monastero on Lake Como became an Instagram success

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Villa Monastero in Varenna is a site that you shouldn't miss next time you're on Lake Como

Villa Monastero in Varenna is one of the most gorgeous sites of Lake Como. Originally built as a convent around the 12th Century was acquired by a rich merchant in 1569. Over the centuries it changed ownerhsip multiple times and it has been enlarged and renovated by renowned architects.

The Villa is surrounded by a lush botanical garden, two kilometers in length and visited by about 80,000 people annually. This fascinating garden is home to a wide range of botanical species, both indigenous and exotic, providing both recreational and learning opportunities for visitors. But nowadays one of the reasons for visiting are surely the spectacular views on Lake Como and the amazing photo opportunities it provides. Over time, it has become a very popular spot for taking pics for immediate Instagram success.

Since 2004, when the Lombardy Region named it a "Casa Museo" or House Museum, Villa Monastero has opened its doors to the public for tours of its 14 charming rooms, still furnished as they were in the 18th century. On view are objects once belonging to the Villa's previous owners. Stepping-in is like travelling in time and immersing yourself in the life of the super-rich owners of the past centuries. Visitors can explore rooms including the Pool Hall, the Music Hall and the Mornico Parlor and a spectacular green-marble bath that would be perfect for a Hollywood mansion.

Villa Monastero also functions as an International Conference Center where, in the year 1954, the Nobel prize winner Enrico Fermi held lectures. To this day, the Villa hosts meetings, conferences, seminars, workshops and cultural events. Every year, the prestigious Italian Society of Physics offers courses at Villa Monastero.  Artists make use of the Villa's Exhibition Room, hosting temporary art exhibitions and continuing in the Villa's tradition of interactive learning and vibrant cultural heritage.

Not to mention, Villa Monastero's scenic landscape serves as an ideal setting for weddings and fashion photo shoots. It is also a lovely venue if you are thinking of proposing to your loved one. For any traveler in Lake Como, Villa Monastero is well worth a visit, to experience all its beauty and to make photos that will make all your friends jealous

If you want to discover more spots to take great photos read our Top 10 Instagrammable Places on Lake Como


Opening Hours Botanical Garden:

April: every day 10am-6:30pm

May-June: every day 10am-7:30pm

July-August: every day 9:30am-8pm

September: every day 9:30am-7:30pm. Closed all day September 17th, 18th, until 3pm on September 19th

October: every day 10am-6pm


Admission Fees Botanical Garden: 

€8 entrance fee (Botanical Garden only)

€5 for senior visitors over the age of 65, or groups of more than 10 people

€3,50 for young people ages 12-18 and students ages 18-24

FREE for children ages 11 and under, disabled visitors, journalists


Opening Hours House Museum:

April: Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 10am-6:30pm

May: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays form 10am-7:30pm

June: Tuesday to Sunday and on holidays from 10am-7:30pm

July and August: every day 9:30am-8pm

September: Tuesday to Sunday and on holidays 9:30am-7:30pm. Closed on September 17th, 18th, 19th

October: Tuesday to Sunday 10am-6pm


Admission Fees Botanical Garden and House Museum: 

€10 entrance fee (Botanical Garden + House Museum)

€7 for senior visitors over the age of 65, or groups of more than 10 people

€5 for young people ages 12-18 and students ages 18-24

FREE for children ages 11 and under, disabled visitors, journalists 


Official Website: www.villamonastero.eu