Villa Olmo

Back to Nature / Designers, editors and galleries meet in the historic halls of Villa Olmo.

The 2023 edition programme opens the doors of the historic Villa Olmo with a new appointment that brings together designers, editors and galleries of modern and contemporary design. A series of special projects follow one another in the different rooms of the villa, creating a unique exhibition, immersed in a large Italian garden and overlooking the first basin of Lake Como.

For its fifth edition, Lake Como Design Festival chooses the observation of nature as its guiding thread. "Naturalis Historia" will be the title of this new event, inspired by the homonymous work by Pliny the Elder. In the year of the Bimillenary of his birth (Como, 23 A.D.), the theme chosen is intended as a tribute to the writer and naturalist, to his eclectic and curious character of forgotten, new and useful things.

Built in the 18th century, Villa Olmo is one of the main symbols of the city of Como. One of the most famous and sumptuous historic residences of the lake. The villa is surrounded by a large Italian garden and is part of the lakeside path that, since the 19th century, has linked the villas overlooking the lake, from Borgovico to Villa d'Este in Cernobbio.

It was built between 1782 and 1787 by the architect Simone Cantoni, originally from Ticino, for the patron Innocenzo Odescalchi, whose wealthy family in 1664 had purchased part of the property and land of the abbey of S. Maria di Vico, known as the Abbey of the Olmo. On the death of Marquis Odescalchi, the neoclassical-style villa passed to the Raimondi family, who hosted, among others, Giuseppe Garibaldi and the imperial family of Ferdinand I of Austria. In 1883 the property passed to the Dukes Visconti di Modrone and was then sold to the Municipality of Como in 1925.

In collaboration with Municipality of Como

Villa Olmo, via Simone Cantoni 1
16-24 September 2023
10 a.m.-7 p.m.