A tale of our collections

From this atrium, with its doors wide open on one of the most beautiful views of Lake Como and on a bright Spring day, we start our tour inside the "house of fine arts", such as Giovanni Battista Sommariva —who bought Villa Carlotta from the Clerici family — loved to call it.
Sculptures, friezes, paintings, collectibles are exhibited in the luminous rooms of the Villa we’ll visit.
Some have changed their place over time but all are constantly being cared for, preserved and restored to delight visitors, year after year, generation after generation.

Beyond the atrium, we cross the spectacular Marble Room, the Plaster Models Room and the Cameos Room and - little by little - we‘ll tell you about their works and stories.

Follow the link in bio to get to know Villa Carlotta or to renovate your visit if you have already been here in the past.

The Marble Room as it appears to us today, after passing through the atrium in front of the lake and, beyond, the gorgeous Bellagio.
Until the early 2000s, this space - wide and airy - had kept the layout designed by the last owners of Villa Carlotta; on the occasion of the recognition of the Villa as a museum, a new distribution of the spaces was planned and the works that can be seen against the wall in the next image were moved to other rooms.

In this way, the sculptures have been further highlighted and enhanced, while the Room became more functional and space has been recovered to host an audience for the several events and concerts that animate the season of Villa Carlotta every year.

In the current version, you can see the faired vault made by the master Lodovico Pogliaghi (1857-1950), under the direction of Duke Giorgio II, that has found its original cleanliness and sharpness with the recent works.

In the eighteenth century, when Villa Carlotta was owned by the Marquis Clerici, in the current “Sala dei Gessi” there was a comfortable sitting room with upholstered sofas and game tables, where guests enjoyed passing carefree and frivolous moments between chatting, cups of hot chocolate or smoking tobacco.

Restored in neoclassical style at the beginning of the nineteenth century with Giovanni Battista Sommariva, in the room was also placed a billiard table, one of the leisures preferred by the nobility who practiced it with beautiful tables, real pieces of furniture.

As the old pic reveals, the billiard table was removed between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries but the room went on being a meeting and entertainment place. Today it’s one of the most visited rooms of the Museum, where you can admire - still in their original location - the models for the Arco della Pace in Milan and the original plaster of the Muse Terpsichore, the moving masterpiece by Antonio Canova.

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