The villa is in the small town of Ossuccio, one of the oldest on Lake Como. The first historical trace of the name Balbiano is found in a document dated 941. The historian Paolo Giovio (1483–1552) wrote of the place where his family possessed magnificent houses and lands planted with mulberries and olives.
In 1637 the owner was Marco Gallio. When he died, on August 13, 1638, the four outer walls of the villa with their gneiss (serizzo) plinth course and most of the partition walls on the three floors had been built, but the finishing work had not been done. Only the cornice had been built for the roof. Ownership of Balbiano then passed into the hands of Carlo Gallio. As we read engraved on an eighteenth-century plaque at the villa, it was Carlo, Marchese of Isola, who continued construction. Another plaque, also from the eighteenth century, says that in 1680, the Marchese Giacomo Gallo celebrated completion of the building, which he had enriched with fine stuccowork and elaborate frescoes, gardens and fountains.
n 1787, Balbiano was acquired by the Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini, art patron and collector. His circle of friends included notable intellectuals in Milan at the time, such as the poet Giuseppe Parini, a leading figure in Italian Neoclassicism, who was often a guest at Balbiano. Durini purchased a number of neighboring properties, commissioned new frescoes, and ordered the construction of a small church, a tower, and a lighthouse to guide the boats (the lighthouse collapsed in the nineteenth century). In a panoramic position atop a promontory to the east, he had a double pavilion built. He dubbed the new estate Balbianino in honor of Balbiano, although today it is better known as Balbianello #italy_photolovers #lakecomo #classicarchitecture #architecture_hunter #fytravels