Villa Balbiano is a historical palazzo, situated on the western shore of the breathtaking Lake Como.

Villa Giovio Balbiano was built by Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio at the end of the 16th century, after the drawings of Pellegrino Tibaldi,

In 1637, Marco Gallio, changed the layout of the grounds in order to obtain enough space to create the Italian garden.

In 1787, the property was sold to Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini, papal nuncio, a lover of arts and letters, patron and collector.

He made the Villa an authentic place of delight by enlarging the house and garden, erecting statues and fountains,

and opening new avenues between hedges and pergolas.
The facade, with simple and sober lines, punctuated by gray stone ornamental carvings, is directly reflected in the water of Lake Como.

All around stand statues and fountains.

From the Strada Regina, a nymph flowered of blue iris leads to the path to the main house,

lined with box hedges, where plane trees and cypresses grow.
In the late 18th century Balbiano hosted a gallant and frivolous society where festivals,

banquets and dances followed one another relentlessly.

The lounges housed recitation meetings, concerts or literary discussions.

Inside, the spectacular Baroque frescoes by the Recchi brothers in the early 17th century can still be seen.

In the lobby, Cardinal Durini installed its rich library, known to all scholars of the time.

In 2016, I have been commissioned to decorate the room of the indoor pool.

The 95% of the surfaces have been painted, using a silicate mineral binder.

On the two short sides - 5,00 by 5,00 m. (16,40 by 16,40 ft) each - were painted two landscapes:

On the southern side, a trompe l'oeil shows a view of the lake with the Comacina island,

the town of Bellagio and the Alps in the background and on the northern side, the cliffs of Sorrento are represented,

on which has been built in the 19th century the other Italian historical villa owned by the clients.  

The good colleague Manuela Moalli has decorated the vaults, depicting

a dramatic yet romantic cloudy sky and I have contributed

in adding some little birds

here and

there.

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