Villa Carlotta was also on my visit list. Built in the 17th century it contains many treasures and has famous botanical gardens with over 150 species of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias, plus old cedars and sequoias. It provided a shady interlude on a hot afternoon and the museum exhibitions were beautifully presented. They include Antonio Canova’s Palamedes and The Muse Terpsichore, Eros and Psyche by Adamo Tadolini and Franceso Hayez’s The Last Adieu of Romeo and Juliet.
The villa was a few minutes’ walk from my hotel, the Britannia Excelsior, in the village of Cadenabbia. My room was large, comfortable and the balcony provided a shady spot to sit and admire the view over the lake. And what a view it was, as good if not better than that offered by any of the villas I had seen; sorry George.
Lunch at the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni overlooking the lake was a memorable experience. The hotel is owned by the Swiss Bucher family and contains many of their personal art treasures. They live on site but keep out of the way of guests. Visitors have included JFK and Winston Churchill who have suites named after them.
My visit flew by in a haze of boat trips, villas, gardens, stunning scenery and glorious sunshine but it was soon time to leave this delightful spot. Not surprisingly, George and Amal decided to stay on for a while.