"VILLA SERBELLONI" - BELLAGIO
The Serbelloni villa has a very ancient history, already owned by the Sfondrati family in 1533, it passed to the Count Alessandro Serbelloni who dedicated himself body and soul to it.
The external appearance, broad but with simple lines, was not changed; the interior was carefully decorated, from vaulted and coffered ceilings, to paintings and art objects. Duke Serbelloni, however more than the villa, was interested in the immense park, spending exorbitant amounts, had carriage roads, avenues and paths built for an extension of about 18 km.
The duke died in Bellagio, in 1826, the villa passed into the hands of his children, Giovan Battista and Ferdinando, fell into disuse after the disappearance of the latter and the heirs, starting from 1870 rented the property to Antonio Mella who made it a dependence of the Albergo de la Grande Bretagne; finally in 1907 they sold it to a Swiss company that made it the Albergo Serbelloni. The hotel was bought by Princess Ella Walker who left it in 1959 as an inheritance to the Rockefeller foundation. Today the villa is used as a residence and meeting place for scholars.
Numerous illustrious guests stayed in the villa, we can remember when it was still the property of the Sfonderati: Emperor Maximilian I, Leonardo da Vinci, Lodovico il Moro, Bianca Sforza, cardinal Borromeo. In the nineteenth century the host of guests is impressive: Pellico, Moroncelli, Emperor FrancescoI, Queen Vittoria, Kaiser Guglielmo, Umberto I; writers such as Manzoni, Grossi, Pindemonte.
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