We continue our visits around Lake Como. After the Villa Melzi d'Eril, which we visited last year, here is the Villa Carlotta, in Tremezzina (CO). It faces Villa Melzi d'Eril, both on one side of the lake. The Villa Carlotta was built at the end of the 17th century by the Marquis Clerici of Milan. In 1801 it was bought by Giovanni Battista Sommariva. He enriched the artistic and botanical heritage of the Villa. The botanical collection grew over the years and through the various owners. The Villa was confiscated during the first World War by the Italian state and became the Carlotta Foundation in 1927. This foundation takes care of the gardens, the development of the collections offered to the public and the maintenance of the Villa. The Villa Carlotta is open to the public from March to October. You can visit the gardens, which are remarkable for their botanical richness and the rare species that are cultivated there, and then the Museum. In this page we will focus on the collection of camellias, which has about 120 different cultivars and that are grouped in several sectors, with very old or more recent plantations. You can find all the practical information on the Villa Carlotta website.
The walk in the gardens is very pleasant. It is not difficult to find camellias throughout the visit. They are mostly grouped around the Villa, but you can also find them along the alleys that make up the park. There are of course classic camellias, directly inherited from the history of camellia in Italy, but also more recent plantations. The oldest camellias in the collection date from the middle or second half of the 19th century.
This new area was set up to plant young camellias after the fall of a large basswood tree in 2018. More contemporary camellias are found here.
Closer to the Villa, we approach the oldest camellias.
Behind the Villa Carlotta, we discover a long hedge with the oldest camellias. This hedge is pruned regularly. You can appreciate its height.
Puis nous arrivons près du premier camellia planté à la Villa Carlotta, au milieu du XIXème siècle. C'est 'Anemoniflora Rosea'. Il est au centre de la photo ci-dessous.
Then we arrive near the first camellia planted at the Villa Carlotta, in the middle of the XIXth century. It is 'Anemoniflora Rosea'. It is in the center of the picture below.
Below, here it is, closer, with the detail of the flower.
Below, this camellia was able to grow as it pleased. The wind probably helped its particular habit.
We continue the visit. The botanical garden also has a remarkable collection of rhododendrons which are magnificent in season, like this large subject already in bloom during our visit.
In this picture, we can see on the other bank, in the mist, the Villa Melzi d'Eril. The two villas are facing each other.
Here is the last part of the visit, going back down to the lake, with the alleys of old camellias. Some dead subjects had to be replaced.