If you’ve been to Villa del Balbianello, you don’t have to worry that a visit to Villa Carlotta will be too similar. I don’t know exactly what characterizes a “villa” but they’re vastly different.
While Villa del Balbianello is more rustic Italian in feel, with its warm earth-tone colors, Villa Carlotta reminds me more of something you’d find in Paris or Vienna. Its somewhat stark white exterior has clean lines &, as you can see below, is about as symmetrical as it gets.
After paying the €9 per person entry fee to the villa & botanic gardens, you enter into an elaborate garden. The front, seen below, is pretty minimalistic with everything trimmed & proper.
Here’s a view of the front garden from inside the villa. See what I mean about symmetry?
When I took a photo of this sign, I found the “Poison – Gift” part a bit puzzling. But, thanks to Marion’s comment below, I later learned that “Gift” actually means “Poison” in German. So thank you for letting me know this, Marion! :)
The gardens are very well done.
From the upper terrace, the views across Lake Como of Bellagio are awesome. And you’re both far away and high up enough that you can see the more rugged mountains behind.
After you’ve seen the front gardens and toured the villa, be sure to continue on to the botanic gardens. The landscaping is quite different and it’s more natural in places. They even had some Japanese-like features.
Some visual treats from the botanic garden.
To Go or No
Go. While a visit to just the villa itself wouldn’tve done it for me personally, when in combination with the botanic gardens, Villa Carlotta is definitely worth a visit. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure a lot of people would find the rooms in the villa interesting since they have furniture & decorations & all that, but I tend to gravitate towards more natural attractions like the gardens.
Here’s a map of where the villa & gardens are. Villa Carlotta is in Tremezzo near the middle of Lake Como. Nearby Villa del Balbianello is another good attraction you could see on the same day. Click on the map to see in Google Maps (though without my text labels).