Villa Melzi

We'd planned on visiting Villa Carlotta by boat but after learning about Villa Melzi when we arrived we chose to go there instead. That allowed us to visit both Varenna and the villa, and on a day when rain was forecasted so we didn't want to travel too far.

Villa Melzi is about the surrounding gardens, not the villa itself, which you can’t go inside. The gardens were planned and planted over 150 years ago, so many of the trees are quite large. One of the first things you see when entering from the Bellagio end is a Japanese garden. 

The whole garden is on a grand scale, and more about trees and masses of shrubs than lots of flowers. Or there just wasn’t a lot blooming when we were there! 

atlas cedar and pagoda dogwood
The atlas cedar and the pagoda dogwoods are stunning. I wish I could grow either at home!

Structures and statues are scattered around the grounds, including a couple of very different gazebos, and an old Venetian gondola. We also saw some lovely pyracantha against the villa wall. Another plant I wish I could find a home for!

We saw a few grottos on this trip. This one you could actually walk inside. I bet it’s great on a hot summer day. 

view through hedge