Its beauty, quiet and elegance have often made it a destination for famous people including Napoleon, Ugo Foscolo and Garibaldi. It is currently home to congresses, shows and art exhibitions. It is one of the most famous and sumptuous historic houses in Como. It was built in neoclassical style, towards the end of the eighteenth century, by the marquis Innocenzo Odescalchi. Its name derives from a gigantic elm tree more than a hundred years old, which no longer exists today. The director of the works was Simone Cantoni, a distinguished Ticino architect, who developed the original project drawn up by his contemporary Innocenzo Regazzoni. Cantoni called the brothers Domenico Pozzi, Carlo Luca Pozzi, Giuseppe Pozzi and the sculptor Francesco Carabelli, with their collaboration.
Its beauty was Cantoni’s calling card
It was the visiting card that allowed Cantoni to create a successful series of country residences, including Villa Giovio in Breccia and Villa Odescalchi in Fino Mornasco. The neoclassical inspiration of Simone Cantoni manifests itself in the design of the façade of the villa. Facing Lake Como, it is composed of a central body that encloses the five large entrance areas in the middle area. Above the rooms rise six columns of Ionic style surmounted by terraces with statues, and by two lateral wings. The interior is transformed into a myriad of ornaments: stuccos, gildings, statues, frescoes by artists of the late 1700s and early 1800s.