Villa Balbiano - Willow & Oak Events

Weddings at Villa balbiano

One of the largest private residences in Lake Como, this grand 16th century palazzo is replete with lush gardens, dynamic lakeside event spaces, Baroque era frescos and an ornately gilded interior

Spanning nearly 13,000 square feet on a breathtaking 3 acre lot of the western shore, this prolific fixture of Lake Como is known for its award-winning lakefront gardens, luxurious Jacques Garcia interiors, extraordinary collection of antiques sourced from auctions at Sotheby’s and Christie's, lovingly restored 17th c frescoes and sumptuous dimensions which not only boast decadently spacious suites, salons, indoor + outdoor pools, but also a private pier, boathouse and 18th c church. Weddings and private events at Villa Balbiano are a return to splendor to say the least. 

Grand Tour Central

Stately Opulence

House of Gucci

Style

Italian Style Gardens With Impressive Lake & Mountain Views 

Decadent Interiors With Antique Furniture + Museum-Worthy Objects dArt 

Views

16th c Palazzo Turned Private Residence for ExclusiveUse

Single Weekday Rental or Full Weekend Buyout

Type

One of the largest private residences in Lake Como, this grand 16th century palazzo is replete with lush gardens, dynamic lakeside event spaces, Baroque era frescos and an ornately gilded interior

Photos courtesy of Villa Balbiano and Greg Finck

Photos courtesy of Villa Balbiano and by Greg Finck

THE LOOK

Historically a gathering place for Italian intellectuals, this magnificent Italian jewel offers a unique opportunity to go back in time and experience life as it was for a society so enthralled by the charms of Italian paradise, they flocked there in droves to soak up its elixir of heaven on earth. And we don't blame them. The atmosphere here is exquisitely intoxicating. 

You can reach Villa Balbiano by car, but it's far more romantic to cruise up to the private pier in a classic wooden Riva boat. Black and white striped mooring poles welcome you as you amble up the wooden dock towards the original stone boathouse + wrought iron gate cloaked in a perfectly imperfect blanket of foliage. You can't help but begin to marvel at the stately cream-colored palazzo with ice-blue shutters and ornate ironwork just beyond. 

Coming up the open-air stairs, you'll find yourself in a lakeside lawn area shaded by a handful of impressive, mature trees. It's easy to glimpse the British influence oft found in Italian gardens like these when you spot the flowering shrubs and perennials with colorful roses, iris, sedums and hydrangeas against the verdant backdrop of palms, cypress, and clipped topiary. As a final flourish in this modern doppelgänger's impression of Eden, a tranquil pool reflects the surrounding trees and landscape, until 

To the right of this ambrosial corner of Villa Balbiano, you'll enter the purposefully understated lakefront garden where you'll be met with an immaculate open lawn and simple topiary shapes that frame the stunning views across Lake Como that extend all the way to the distant mountains. Behind you, the villa's archetypal Roman lines grant you permission to stare. 

The long, rectangular garden at the front of the villa, where you'd arrive by car, offers equal distinction. With an overabundance of classical clipped foliage, you'll find evergreen oak and bay laurel hedges leading all the way up to the house. A sprinkle of white marble statues and 18th c busts and urns edge the manicured paths on either side of an enchantingly reflective garden rill, drawing your eyes towards hidden entrances to blink-and-you-might-miss-it allées. In a word, Villa Balbiano's garden scene is a knockout. 

For a property dripping with history, we'd expect nothing less than a bit of expert finessing from renowned Interior Decorator Jacques Garcia. Richness and drama are his signatures, and this glamorous revitalization of Villa Balbiano's luxe interiors feels like the buzzy baroque aesthetic we never knew we needed. Marble bathrooms feature gilded gold mirrors and deep soak tubs; 17th c frescos by the Recchi brothers and Agostino Silva get a new lease on life; crystal chandeliers dazzle in a gravity-defying dance above jewel-toned velvet furniture; tromp l'oeil painted doors create continuity of the floor-to-ceiling murals in the dining room; silk damask upholstery adorns antique rococo chairs. Remarkably curated and inconspicuously modernized, the interiors are a winning complement to the picturesque perches outside. 

Photos by Oliver Fly Photography

THE EVENT SPACES

A guest arrival via classic wooden boat makes for a spiffy first impression at Villa Balbiano. Cheerful servers standing at attention beneath the shaded sanctuary of the full-fledged palms welcome your guests with silver trays in hand - refreshing tipples to tempt their tastebuds never far off!

An equally mesmerizing arena for the welcome is the long, rectangular garden separating the villa's front side from the car-trodden road. Immersive entertainment can surprise + delight within the labyrinthine alcoves of this formal garden space as they make their way towards the 16th c palazzo through which they'll find the ceremony on the other side. It's no surprise this space is a regular favorite for Cocktail Hours too, should you prefer the reverse order. 

The unparalleled spot for wedding ceremonies at Villa Balbiano is the manicured lakefront garden with its understated lawn + simple topiaries that keep the attention focused on the exceptional scenic views and any blooming enhancements you might choose to employ. With the lake backdropping the couple, the processional typically enters from the villa, culminating in a magnificent crescendo for the grand entrance. This space can comfortably seat up to 200 guests 

The verdant Pool Lawn is the pièce de résistance of the Dinner spaces. While dinners can take place inside (under 40 guests), the al fresco ambiance is far more romantic. Adorned with a fully floored glasshouse marquee (walled or open-air), you can transform the space top to bottom with unique decor, lively entertainment and creatively camouflaged production elements that can level up your party in the best ways, without fear of being impacted by the weather. While the villa does not come with a marquee, allowing you to have autonomy over the flow + design of your own event, we would highly recommend an investment here. 

The After Party can continue inside the villa, in the main room on the ground floor. This spacious foyer connects directly to the lakefront lawn where the ceremony would have happened earlier in the day. When possible, it's nice to flip the ceremony space into cocktail style lounge vignettes during the dinner service, so that guests can find respite outside should they wish to take a break from dancing once the the After Party is in full swing. The room itself is normally filled with the opulent furnishings we described earlier, however, these pieces are removed for after parties in order to create more space (and let's face it, less risk!) 

THE ROOMS

The accommodations at Villa Balbiano extend beyond the main palazzo, making it possible for up to 30 people to sleep on-site. The main palazzo offers 6 gorgeously appointed rooms across 3 floors, each with its own en-suite bathroom, accommodating up to 12 people. 

A separate wing of the palazzo has recently been added to sleep an additional 8 guests across 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Meanwhile, the Villino occupies a separate part of the garden with 4 additional rooms (sleeping up to 8 people), a living room, dining room, conservatory and gorgeous lake views. Cots can be added as applicable, making it possible for 30 guests to stay overnight, rather than 28.  

Congruent with the lifestyles of the rich + famous approach to this illustrious property, Villa Balbiano includes a full-time staff with the rental, meaning that you'll have a seasoned crew of housekeepers, butlers, chefs, porters, concierge, security and villa manager at your beck and call for the duration of your rental. 

For overflow accommodations, the nearest property is Grand Hotel Tremezzo though there are plenty of other comparable options within a 25-30 minute radius of the villa by car. 

Photos courtesy of Villa Balbiano

THE LOCATION

Situated on the western shore of Lake Como, the Villa sits at the edge of the lake in one of the magical Tremezzino hamlets of Ossuccio, approximately 12 miles north of the town Como and just a stone's throw away from the Grand Hotel Tremezzo. From this vantage point next to the Perlana River, you're well-positioned to explore the "Golden Triangle" of the lake: Bellagio, Menaggio, and Varenna which are situated at different points along the Y-shaped lake's crux and are undoubtedly the most popular towns to visit. 

The villa can help you organize a boat rental in order to enjoy all the charms of the lake at your leisure in the days surrounding your wedding, conveniently with the ability to dock the watercraft in the villa's private boathouse whenever not in use. 

Endowed with Lake Como signatures from the melee of colorful fisherman houses blending harmoniously with noble villas to the original wooden gondola turned permanently moored boathouse dubbed the Velarca (a gift given to us by a couple of intellectuals in the 60's), Ossuccio is a destination to be discovered slowly. Unearthing its rich cultural heritage from the comfort of your 16th c palazzo stomping grounds is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we'd highly recommend taking some time to explore its many treasures. Most notably perhaps, the Sacro Monte with its 14 frescoed chapels and 230 statues in stucco + terracotta and the Romanesque church of Santa Maria Maddalena featuring an unusual slender bell tower with a burgeoning belfry on top. 

Don't miss a tête-à-tête with Isola Comacina, the one and only island in Lake Como, which is situated just opposite Ossuccio. This intriguing archeological site and natural park is endowed with lush Mediterranean vegetation, ancient Roman ruins, a 17th century church, a legendary past and a spectacular dining experience with immersive fire rituals and all. 

Photos by Greg Finck

"This magnificent villa, located just outside Lenno in a secluded position on Lake Como, is one of the ultimate locations to wed in one of the world's most breathtaking destinations." - Harper's Bazaar

THE BEST FIT FOR

A bona fide ivory tower for art aficionados, history buffs and fashion fanatics, Villa Balbiano is well-suited for multi-day destination events as well as single-day rentals without accommodation. Just keep in mind that the latter is only available on weekdays from May to October. Weekend rentals are for a minimum of 3 full days and include accommodation for 12 - the petite garden villa + separate wing are charged as applicable. 

We find that most couples getting married at Villa Balbiano have a maximum guest count of 175-200, as the lakefront garden where the symbolic or civic ceremony most often happens is perfectly suited for that number. However, more intimate celebrations are certainly beautiful here too! 

The ingenious layout of the indoor + outdoor event spaces allows you to customize the flow however you'd like, without ever feeling repetitive or anticlimactic. Even if you host the wedding dinner in the Pool Lawn area on one night and host a casual pool bbq in the same spot on another, it's absolutely possible to flip spaces without compromising the guest experience. Done well, your friends and family will never realize you're repurposing the same spaces to begin with! 

Even so, we find that many couples opt to host only the wedding day or one of their auxiliary events at Villa Balbiano (without staying overnight) in order to maximize guest exposure to properties like the Grand Hotel Tremezzo or Villa d'Este where the majority of guests will likely be staying. Not only does this alleviate transportation pressure and costs for the full scope of wedding events, it makes the overall guest experience that much more dynamic. 

How incredible would it be to end your wedding weekend with a bang? An afternoon pool party at Villa Balbiano with a live DJ might be the precursor for a fleet of classic wooden boats that surprise your guests with a scenic cruise from the palazzo to Isola Comacina. Awaiting your sendoff party, with their devil-may-care attitude (they're all-in at this point), is the legendarily vivacious dinner experience this jet-set favored island is so known for. This is what a wedding at the literal House of Gucci looks like.

How to Reach Villa balbiano

PLANE

Lugano Agno Airport (LUG) 
1 hr

Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) 
1 hr, 15 min

Milan Linate Airport (LIN)
1 hr, 30 min

Address: Piazza Cardinal Durini, 22010 Ossuccio CO, Italy

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TRAIN

Como San Giovanni
45 min (by car or private boat) 

AUTOMOBILE

Como
45 min

Lugano
1 hr min

Milan
1 hr, 15 min

St. Moritz
2 hr, 20 min

Photos by Greg Finck

Villa d'Este
Coming Soon

Grand Hotel Tremezzo

Villa Sola Cabiati
Coming Soon

More Wedding Venues in Lake Como....

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