Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este

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More than a place: The legendary Grand Hotel Villa d’Este.Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2024

More than a place: The legendary Grand Hotel Villa d’Este.Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2024

Along the shores of Italy’s most romantic lake Hotel Villa d’Este is regarded as the undisputed grand dame of Lake Como, occupying one of its most scenic and sun-filled spots. Nestled on the edge of the tiny town of Cernobbio the estate’s colorful history can be experienced with unmatched views in every direction.

Global hospitality icon at Lake Como: Grand Hotel Villa d´Este.

 

Built-in 1568 as the Villa Garrovo summer residence for the Cardinal of Como, Tolomeo Gallio, it became the home of Caroline of Brunswick, Queen Consort to King George IV, in 1815. The future queen named the residence Villa d’Este right away and began investing a lot of time and resources into expanding it. In 1873 Villa d’Este was transformed into a luxury hotel. It quickly became a discerning holiday destination for the European aristocracy and upper middle class as well as an essential stop for the Grand Tour.

Unbeatable views everywhere.

 

With exceptional service and an unmistakable style, Grand Hotel Villa d’Este is recognized as a global hospitality icon. Situated on Lake Como’s shores amidst 25 acres of parkland, it boasts 152 rooms and suites, along with four private villas. While the sun starts to rise over the serene water, you can admire the stunning mountain backdrop, and charming villages on the shore of Lake Como, guests start their grand buffet breakfast, full of handmade products, to taste the flavors of the Italian tradition and international cuisine. Is this reality or a dream come true?

INTERVIEW WITH DAVIDE BERTILACCIO, CEO AT VILLA D’ESTE HOTEL


Davide Bertilaccio, CEO at Villa d’Este Hotel, on the alluring qualities of Villa d’Este and its fascinating history.

Mr. Bertilaccio, the Villa d’Este hosts the Concorso d’Eleganza since 1929. What do the Grand Hotel and one of the most exclusive events for historic cars have in common?

We are very proud to have been hosting this exceptional event for such a long period. The grounds of Villa d’Este are a celebration of beauty and heritage, just as the exclusive automobiles presented during the weekend of the Concorso d’Eleganza. Both worlds are blessed with timeless elegance and connected through passion and prestige.

Villa d’Este was built in 1568 as the private residence of the Cardinal of Como Tolomeo Gallio. It has now been a hotel for over 150 years. How do you preserve the original heritage of this legendary place?

To this day, our hotel is more like a private villa. As soon as our guests step through the gate to the garden of Villa d’Este, they feel like they are in another world. That’s why we take great care when carrying out renovation work, for example, which is necessary from time to time in a house with this history. Everything is preserved and maintained by local craftsmen. This is how we defend the special aura of our 152 rooms and suites, which are all different. The rich tradition and history of Villa d’Este are essential aspects that should be emphasized. I was convinced to join Villa d’Este Hotels to lead new initiatives and implement tangible actions to guide the ‘Grande Dame’ into the next century always maintaining its DNA.

Check in to another world.

 

From Alfred Hitchcock to Elizabeth Taylor and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor countless celebrities stayed at Villa d´Este for intimacy and inspiration. What makes this place so appealing?

Like the great artists and personalities that stayed at Villa d´Este during its long history, our guests can stroll around 25 acres of luscious gardens surrounding the villa. One of the most picturesque examples of Baroque scenography in Italy and considered a National Historical Monument since 1913. The beautiful ambiance, century-old trees as well as fascination with the lake create inspiring moments every day.

25 acres of luscious gardens surround Villa d´Este.

 

You already mentioned the magnificent gardens of Villa d´Este and with the lush green atmosphere of Lake Como the beauty of nature is obviously one of the major qualities of a stay here. Where is your favorite spot on the estate?

The old plane trees growing between the main building and the Queen’s pavilion are undoubtedly the botanical landmark of Villa d’Este. Over the centuries, Queens, Empresses, Cardinals, Aristocrats, and Heads of State have contemplated the beauty of Lake Como sitting in the refreshing shade offered by these trees.

The fascination of the lake creates inspiring moments every day.

 

Then there are the numerous romantic elements in the rocky hill right behind the main building. Through narrow steps, bridges, and passages, surrounded by seemingly wild vegetation, visitors can reach the Temple of Telemachus, the Shepherd’s Arch, Hercules’ perspective, and the iconic Mosaic. There are also the small fortresses – mock fortifications – commissioned in 1808 by one of the past owners of the villa to celebrate her husband’s achievements with Napoleon’s army in Spain.

That being said, it´s impossible to decide on a certain spot. Each part of the historic gardens is charmed by the inebriating perfume and colors of its plants. Like the great artists who stayed at Villa d’Este during its long history, I like to admire the fascination of the lake, be seduced by the beauty of the ambiance, and find my inspiration.

 

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