The relentlessly picturesque Balbianello may be the most magical house in all of Italy. It sits on its own little promontory, Il Dosso d'Avedo, around the bend from the tiny fishing village of Ossuccio. The villa is composed of loggias, terraces, and palazzini (tiny palaces), all spilling down verdant slopes to the lakeshore, where you'll find an old Franciscan church, a magnificent stone staircase, and a statue of San Carlo Borromeo blessing the waters. The villa
is usually reached by launch from Como and Bellagio, which leaves you at the village of Lenno. Marked signs lead you to the villa—it's only accessible by foot (via a 20-minute walk) on Tuesday and weekends. The villa provides private boat service for visitors to the villa on Thursday and Friday. Visits are usually restricted to the gardens, but guided tours (€60, must be arranged in advance) include the villa.
Il Dosso d'Avedo; ferry stop Lenno, 5 km (3 miles) southwest of Tremezzo, Lenno, 22019, Italy