Villa Monastero, located in the province of Lecco, is one of the most interesting examples of an eclectic style residence of the late nineteenth century and is one of the main historical-landscape-environmental site of the territory. The Villa, owned by the Province of Lecco, overlooks Lake Como and surrounded by a botanical garden of great scenic impact and symbolic value. The Villa was born from the transformation of an ancient Cistercian female monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary, built at the end of the 12th century by filiation of that one of Acquafredda, in nearby Lenno. In the mid-sixteenth century, it was purchased by the Mornico family, who owned the property for more than three centuries and made it known on the Lario as "Villa Leliana". Later, it passed to other owners, Italian and foreign, and in 1939 it was donated by the Milan family De Marchi, so that it could become a public property and a house museum.
The complex presents itself as a magnificent compendium: the House Museum offers an exhibition itinerary in 14 fully furnished rooms which have kept original decorations and furniture, the Botanical Garden, which extends arranged in terraces, for about 2 km along the lakefront from Varenna to Fiumelatte, is rich in particular and rare botanical species. Today, the species exceed the 900 specimens, this allowed to obtain the regional recognition of Botanical Garden. Thanks to the favourable microclimate of central lake area, botanical rarities come from all over the world coexist here and are implemented every year. The Conference Centre, also known internationally for classes held by the Nobel Prize Enrico Fermi in 1954, today offers to institutions, universities and firms the possibility to organize conferences, seminars, training courses and workshops in a picturesque setting rich in history. The exhibition space, used to host temporary exhibitions of painting, sculpture, photography and art objects.
The context of the Villa is also ideal for educational activities which are articulated in paths, in-depth workshops and fun activities dedicated to school groups and families.Today, Villa Monastero is also one of the most popular locations for weddings and a perfect place for photo shoots for prestigious Italian and foreign fashion and tourism magazines.