“This lake exceeds anything I ever beheld in beauty […] But the finest scenery is that of the Villa Pliniana […] The scene from the colonnade is the most extraordinary, at once and the most lovely that eye ever beheld. Above you from among the clouds, as it descends a waterfall of immense size, broken by the woody rocks into a thousand channels to the lake. On the other side is seen the blue extent of the lake and the mountains speckled with sails and spires.”
-Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley 1818.
Stand by the shores of Lake Como in Italy and you’ll see a glimpse of Villa Pliniana nestled in the lush green and standing tall as a testament to centuries gone by; a graceful sentinel of history and opulence. Though it has weathered the passage of time with elegance, this hidden gem remains discreetly tucked away, known only to those with an appreciation for the blend of history and luxury. Villa Pliniana is not merely a hotel; it’s an exquisite property sought after by connoisseurs of refined living who yearn to be in the embrace of centuries-old stories and modern-day extravagance. Despite boasting all the amenities of a world-class resort, the villa remains authentically Italian, steeped in its rich cultural roots. As we embark on a leisurely virtual detour through the enchanting halls and verdant surroundings of this luxurious property, get ready to be mesmerised by every corner that whispers tales of a bygone era, and every moment that is adorned with the allure of luxury.
HISTORY & HERITAGE
Constructed in 1573 around its eponymous spring, Villa Pliniana draws inspiration from Como’s renowned naturalists, Plinio the Elder and Plinio the Younger, who initially documented the spring’s unique intermittence in the first century A.D. Over time, notable scientists like Leonardo Da Vinci and Benedetto Giovio also explored its wonders. Count Giovanni Anguissola, the governor of Como, envisioned and brought to life the villa, transforming the spring and its surroundings into a delightful retreat. Throughout the centuries, Villa Pliniana experienced alternating periods of grandeur and neglect, with contributions from families like the Visconti, Canarisi, and Belgiojoso adding to its splendour. Renowned figures such as Percy Shelley, Gioacchino Rossini, and Napoleon, who is rumoured to have played billiards in the still-existing room, graced the villa. Writers like Byron, Foscolo, Berchet, and Stendhal, musicians Liszt and Bellini, scientists Volta, Spallanzani, and Ghezzi, along with monarchs Joseph II of Austria and Margherita of Savoy, all left their mark on this historic haven. After extensive and meticulous restoration work, Villa Pliniana stands today in all its former glory, living proof of its rich history and cultural significance.
Nestled on a Lake Como inlet, Villa Pliniana is ensconced in lush vegetation, seamlessly integrated into the rock. Adjacent to the villa, the Colorée Valley stream cascades into Lake Como in a majestic seventy-metre waterfall. Anchored to the lake bed, the building harmoniously connects with both the upstream and front sides. The main floor, divided by a loggia, boasts two expansive halls, a reception area, a billiard room, a dining room, and a kitchen. At the courtyard’s heart stands a statue of Neptune holding a trident. Facing the loggia, the rock face reveals the intermittent spring, channelling its waters through the villa and gracefully pouring into the lake via an arcade on the villa’s facade. Ascending from the main floor, a meticulously carved wooden staircase leads to the upper floor suites, while a convenient elevator ensures seamless access across all levels, connecting to the parking lot. Recently subjected to a comprehensive restoration, Villa Pliniana now exudes contemporary sophistication, skillfully enhanced by Patricia Urquiola, the designer behind the renowned il Sereno property. The modern updates coalesce effortlessly with the villa’s historic allure, preserving its charm and original design details.
SONO A CASA
The wonder of the intermittent spring, the ceaseless sound of water, the quietness of the woods, the breathtaking view, the echoes of history—all of this turns staying in the Villa Pliniana into a unique and incomparable experience. The restoration of the existing buildings allowed for four wide suites with eighteen bedrooms and three independent houses. The four suites are located in the main building while the independent villas are spread in the eighteen acres of the park surrounding the villa. All apartments have a view of the lake and have been designed to grant the highest standards of comfort. They are provided with satellite TV, internet connection, air conditioning and safety; moreover, all of them are also equipped with a private kitchen and laundry. Some of the outbuildings have separate entrances, useful for the access of the domestic personnel.
AMENITIES IN ABUNDANCE
In 2015, the profound connection between Villa Pliniana and the water was accentuated through renovations, introducing a spa located on a terrace above the garden. This dedicated building features an infinity pool, creating a mesmerising illusion of swimming in the heart of the lake. The pool is supplied with water filtered and drawn from the lake at a depth of fifty metres. Villa Pliniana’s Wellness Center complements this aquatic haven, offering amenities such as a sauna, steam bath, and emotional showers, all within the comfort of well-appointed locker rooms. Arrive in elegance through private entrances—whether by helicopter landing pad, boat dock, or car entryway—offering exclusive transportation across the lake and its surroundings. Explore the scenic villages and sites of Lake Como using our own Vaporina Boat, thoughtfully designed by Urquiola. The villa complex spans 18 acres of waterfront gardens and terraces, providing sweeping views of Lake Como. This secluded retreat is the ideal haven for families and groups seeking a profound connection with the natural beauty of the region.
Their exclusive Palazzo offers the intimacy and spaciousness of a private home, coupled with the renowned five-star service and amenities associated with Sereno Hotels. Enjoy complimentary butler services, housekeeping, and a dedicated concierge team to curate your dream stay at Lake Como.
Villa Pliniana features two elegant and detailed ballrooms, making it a perfect venue for events and gatherings. The main building includes a billiard room, a special space for group enjoyment. With Lake Como’s glistening waters as a backdrop, lush gardens, and stunning ballrooms accommodating up to 200 seated guests, the villa stands as one of Italy’s most luxurious wedding venues. Its amazing scenery, harmonising water, and forest provide captivating backgrounds for both professional and amateur photographers. Comprising individual buildings, each showcasing breathtaking classical architecture, Villa Pliniana ensures an unforgettable setting for wedding ceremonies, aperitivos, and reception dining experiences.
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