Como, Villa Olmo
This beautiful villa was built on the site of a convent and a church (St. Maria in Vico) erected in the 12th century. In 1664, Marco Plinio Odescalchi bought the property to build a 'suburban residence'. The project was commissioned to the famous architect Simone Cantoni. The superb residence had often illustrious guests like, in 1825, the Austrian Emperor Frederick I and his wife, received by Metternich and Radetzky. In 1882, the villa was bought by the Visconti di Modrone family who inaugurated the last 'lordship' age of the villa. The two lateral wings which disfigured the beautiful neoclassical façade were demolished; the entrance on the lakeside was renovated and the entrance hall was completely modified by pulling down the original ceiling. It was then created a single, spectacular three-storey room which can still be admired. The villa was enriched with a small theatre and on the pediment, the Visconti coat of arms (a snake) was erected. Behind the villa, the English garden boasts a 'neoclassical temple'. In 1927 the villa was handed over to the Town Council. The new property was inaugurated on the great Esposizione Voltiana. From that moment on, the villa became a natural venue for many cultural events in Como: concerts , congresses and important art exhibitions.