Sunday, 24th August – Star Wars Villa (Villa del Balbianello)

Indulging a fan boy’s wish, Bec had researched a particular villa on Lake Como that was featured prominently in the Star Wars movie, Attack of the Clones. The wedding scene between Anakin and Padme as well as a couple of other scenes were shot at the Villa del Balbianello.

Aside from fan boy cred, the villa itself is amazing and can only be seen to be believed. Yes, the photos are beautiful, but the villa is so much more beautiful – and everywhere you look is a million dollar view.

The villa’s history is so mixed, it’s almost like a movie in itself! It was built at the end of the 1700s as a quiet summer residence. Prior to that, the place was inhabited by Franciscan Friars! It has also been used as a trendy gathering spot in the 1800s, an explorers home and now is looked after by a trust to ensure it stays beautiful.

It was hard to pick the best photos for the blog as they are all amazing, but here is a collection of the ones that we thought really showed off the villa. Enjoy!

IMG_7784IMG_7785 IMG_7836IMG_7801IMG_7845 IMG_7909IMG_7915 IMG_7917IMG_7933 IMG_7973  IMG_7945IMG_7992IMG_8003IMG_8029IMG_8022IMG_8007IMG_8008  IMG_8053

Lake Como and Villa del Balbianello really was a perfect start to our Italian adventure!

2014 European Adventure Italy

Sunday, 24th August – Milan to Lake Como

We got up super early and left Milan arriving at our hotel about 10 minutes outside Como to grab some maps and info before arriving at Como. Driving into the town we fell in love immediately – and that was before we even saw the Lake! The town of Como is so pretty and after securing ourselves an all day car park for only 3 Euro we set out to explore.


Other than wanting to visit Lake Como one of the main attractions was the Villa Del Balbianello. Information about how to get there was very sketchy and we weren’t very confident about how we were going to make it happen. We were so lucky to find a really helpful hotel concierge (as it was a Sunday the Tourist Info Centre was closed), who was more than happy to have a chat with us about all the different options we had.

We soon found ourselves on Como Marina waiting to board a huge ferry that for just 30 Euro (about $43 AUD), would take us on a journey around the entire lake for 1 1/2 hours with our stop at Lenno.


Our luck continued as the people sitting in front of us had kindly paid for a local tour guide, we advantageously got a free tour and were able to identify some of the villas around the lake owned/occupied by some well known names.


The Villa on the above right belongs to Sophia Loren.


The Villa/sprawling estate belongs to Sir Richard Branson.


Above is George Clooney’s villa.

It was fun to have these pointed out to us and learn a little bit about the Lake’s history. The pictures do not do it justice, it truly was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to.

IMG_7637IMG_7726   IMG_7620IMG_7591 IMG_7571IMG_7561 IMG_7559IMG_7557 IMG_7550IMG_7549 IMG_7548IMG_7544

We arrived at Lenno and were happily surprised that local markets were taking place. We enjoyed looking through the markets and enjoyed a coffee and sneaky desert, the view came for free and was pretty amazing.

.IMG_8077IMG_7875IMG_7896IMG_7878IMG_7891 IMG_8076

Next stop was Villa del Balbianello and as this was my surprise for Keith I’ll let him describe his experience in another blog.

2014 European Adventure Italy