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Villa d'Este Review
One of the grandest hotels in Italy has long wlecomed Europe's rich and famous, housing them in grand guest rooms still furnished in the Empire style. In fact, not much at all has changed since the 16th-century villa was transformed into a hotel in 1873, except, of course, the five-star amenities. A broad veranda sweeps out to the lakefront, where a swimming pool extends above the water. The fanciful pavilions, temples, miniature forts, and mock ruins ensure a walk in the gardens is full of whimsical surprises.
A Palace on the Lake
Designed as the 16th-century summer residence of a prominent local Cardinal, the glamorous Villa d'Este was synonymous with Lake Como long before George Clooney arrived on the scene. Indeed, this renowned Italian lakeside resort, oft visited by aristocrats and royalty during its 443-year- reign, claims 25 shoreline acres rife with summer pursuits, from exquisite, statuary-filled formal gardens, to clay tennis courts (with pros on hand), and a floating lakeside pool. Each of the 152 individually decorated rooms evokes a bygone era, with fine period furniture and art, chandeliers and linens; for extra privacy, two additional villas are also available for rent.
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