Villa Cipressi is a complex of buildings and gardens rich in history. His traces take us back to the noble Serponti family. The family took refuge from the Comacina Island, when in 1169 it was set on fire by the Comaschi. At the end of the eighteenth century it was Baron Isimbardi, director of the Mint of Milan. It also functioned as a hotel and among the guests, in 1938, it had the Emperor of Austria, Ferdinand I and his family. It was then the turn of the Andreossi family who took special care of the park. Then followed the Englishmen Sir Astley, Sir Salton and finally the publisher Accame. In 1980 Villa Cipressi was purchased with a public subscription by the Varennese. Today it is owned by the Municipality of Varenna. It is managed by a private association that has taken care of the restoration, combining the historical essence with functionality, to host an elegant hotel.
He strives to work alongside the prestigious international events that take place in the adjacent Villa Monastero which is the Varenna study and congress center. Guests include top personalities such as the Nobel Rubbia, Bardeen, Alfven, Cooper and other distinguished scientists and professors from the most important Italian and foreign universities.
The beauty of the buildings is enhanced by a magnificent botanical garden, with stairways and terraces that descend to the lake. In the 1600s it was customary to build villas on the shores of the lake in panoramic positions, equipping them with parks and gardens that live together with the building itself. Villa Cipressi is enclosed within a particularly beautiful garden with terraces sloping down towards the lake, once the only access to the house. There are many factors that determine this situation. One of the most important is the presence of the lake that acts as a climate moderator, accumulating and giving heat to the environment with the changing of the seasons.
The favorable climatic conditions allow the development of unusual species in northern Italy, such as the American agave. Some specimens date back to the mid-nineteenth century. The garden includes a beautiful collection of agavacee and Mediterranean species such as myrtle, pictosphorus, palms of various species. Also you can admire tree-like oleanders and cypresses, which give the villa its name.
Here there are rare specimens of the Californian Monterey cypress. A marked trail leads visitors through flowery borders that follow each other in the seasons. After the camellias and azaleas, gardenias, hydrangeas and roses bloom in the summer and the flower beds are populated by annual blooms. Even the winter does not fail to excite. Among the evergreen tresses of cypresses, holm oaks and magnolias the scents of calicanto, mahonia and sarcococca are captured. In spring that of the wisteria, which shades the pergola, a perfect place for a stop overlooking the lake.
Today the Villa is managed by the R Collection Hotels group, which in 2018 took care of its restoration.