Fodor's Expert Review Villa del Balbianello
The relentlessly picturesque Balbianello may be the most magical house in all of Italy; you probably know it from cameos in the movies Casino Royale and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. 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 from Como and Bellagio by boat, which leaves you at the village of Lenno. From there, marked signs lead you to the villa—it's either accessible by foot via a 20-minute walk or a more challenging 45-minute hike, or there is often private boat service for €7 round-trip, €5 one-way.