Definitely one of the most beautiful lake villas of Como lake .
Bellagio Rockefeller Centre is a private property NOT for holiday in Italy .
It’s a private conference centre that belongs to the Rockefeller Foundation in New York. Surely is one of the MUST.
During the time of the Roman Empire on the promontory there was probably one of the villa Pliny the Younger had on the lake. During the Gothic domination the castle which was already on top of the promontory was rebuilt becoming a real residence. In the Middle Ages the castle had many different purposes: first of all it was a strategic observation post and it was in communicaton with all the other castles on the lake i.e. the castle of Vezio just above Varenna. After 1375 when it was destroyed, history is not clear at all. At around the end of 1400 (XV cent.) , Marchesino Stanga bought the promontory and built a place which was situated exactly where the villa stands nowdays. It is likely that Leopnardo da Vinci visited this villa as Stanga’s guest.
After Stanga’s death the feud passed from hand to hand and fell into ruin. In mid XVI cent Francesco Sfondrati came into possession of the promontory and together with Ercole Sfondrati rebuilt the villa. The Sfondrata Tower and the Capuchin cloiser were also built at the time.
When the Sfondrati family died out at the end of XVIII cent. the property was left by will to Alessandro Serbelloni who was the 2nd buider especially of the park and spent a real fortune to build roads,paths, gallerie and the caves we can still see today.
From 1870 the Serbelloni’s heirs assigned the property to hotel-keepers and 1907 it was the bought by Princess Ella Walker Della Torre Tasso who transformed it once again in a private villa.
When she died in 1959 she left the property by will to the Rockfeller Foundation in New York.
It is now, as saied , a Study and Conference Centre where scholars work on interesting projects.