aerial view of Lake Como

Villa Balbianello: How to Plan Your Event (Complete Guide)

How exactly do you define what a dream destination is, whether it be for a wedding or a simple trip?
We all have, deep in our hearts, the dream of traveling to a particular destination. Often our dream destinations are places that combine our passion for adventure, beauty and nature; they are the kind of places we have dreamt of since we were children and in which we have set all of our fantasies. As we grow up, we associate them with places in the real world, and it is at that point that the desire to visit them becomes almost a necessity, and pushes us to live out our childhood fantasies alone or accompanied by the person we love.

Villa Balbianello estate viewed from the waters of Lake Como

The place I am writing about today is an enchanting place, a destination desired and dreamt of by many bridal couples, and not only. Villa del Balbianello, a precious romantic dwelling that rises above the waters of Italy’s most famous lake, the Lake of Como, is truly an enchanted place, and if you don’t know anything about it yet, I am sure that by the end of this article, you will be eager to go and discover it.

Read also: The Top 5 Lake Como Wedding Venues

Between Alps and lakes: nature enveloping the villa

 “That branch of Lake of Como, which turns toward the south, between two unbroken chains of mountains, presenting to the eye a succession of bays and gulfs […]”.

Villa del Balbianello is placed in an absolutely prestigious geographical context. It is located in the region of Lombardy, one of the richest regions of Italy (whose capital is Milan), and the lake that hosts it is one of the most important Italian lakes, perhaps the most famous of all, since it is mentioned in the famous incipit of I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed) by Alessandro Manzoni. The lake has a characteristic and unmistakable Y-shape and is all around surrounded by the Alps, which in winter reveal their peaks brushed with white snow, offering observers a breathtaking panorama. The Lake of Como is truly a pearl embedded in the mountains and offers a variety of views ranging from peaceful shores to sumptuous historic villas and picturesque villages overlooking its shores that retain the charm of traditional Lombard architecture. The charm of its azure waters and surrounding mountains has inspired artists, poets and writers over the centuries, contributing to the myth and legend surrounding this region.

Bride and her dad in Villa Balbianello

 Lombardy is indeed a very peculiar Italian region, as it offers both flat landscapes, typical of the Po Valley, and mountainous ones, provided by the Alps. Although it does not reach the sea, it is crossed by numerous rivers – including the famous Po River – and dotted with hundreds of natural and artificial lakes, which are the real treasure of this territory.

Read also: 5 Best Places To Get Married In Dolomites

A princely villa on the azure waters of Lake Como

The majestic lake, with its calm and clear waters, reflects the mountains that surround it like a ring of land. Nestled in the center is a romantic 18th century villa: Villa del Balbianello, a unique masterpiece that guests can only access by water. During the boat ride to the estate, guests can admire the beauty of the surrounding landscape, approaching the structure slowly, observing it from afar, first taking in its totality and magnificence. As one approaches, the guests’ gaze is greeted by wide panoramic terraces that show off lush gardens with majestic blooms and paths surrounded by statues. The inaccessibility by land gives Villa Balbianello a romantic, intimate and exclusive atmosphere, all elements that add an extra touch of mystery and magic to this place, turning every step towards the villa into an unforgettable adventure, just like every step towards the altar. 

aerial view of Lake Como

A setting like this is truly all one could wish for to celebrate love in all its glory. Choosing Villa Balbianello to celebrate a wedding means immersing yourself in the elegance of one of the most fascinating wedding sites on the Italian lakes: in a wedding video shot here, the couple is constantly framed by lush nature and relics of inestimable artistic and cultural value: an eternal combination that our Bel Paese has always been able to offer and still amazes visitors from all over the world.

Read also: 10 Reasons To Get Married In The Heart Of Lake Como

The adventurous history of the estate

 The mansion has a rich and troubled history, characterized by changes in ownership and various renovations that have shaped its narrative, transforming it into the masterpiece that stands before our eyes today. Its construction dates back to 1787, when Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini erected the villa on a pre-existing Franciscan monastery. During the summer and autumn seasons, the cardinal hosted gatherings of intellectuals, thus helping to weave the first threads of the villa’s history.

A statue in Villa Balbianello

Later, over the years, the property passed into the hands of Giuseppe Arconati Visconti, who welcomed prominent intellectuals such as Giovanni Berchet and Alessandro Manzoni. In 1974, the explorer Guido Monzino bought the villa, turning it into the refuge that holds the memories of his adventurous life, culminating with the historic climb to Mt. Everest, marking the first time an Italian achieved this incredible objective. The villa still echoes Monzino’s adventures, with maps, travel instruments, books and a collection of ancient and primitive art objects carefully arranged according to his wishes. The watchful management of the Villa was taken over in 1988 by the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI), which has carefully preserved the spirit, structure and treasures of the mansion. The route through the villa offers an evocative view of daring pruning, romantic views, avenues adorned with statues and panoramic terraces. The culmination of this journey is the 18th-century Loggia, which towers over the entire complex, offering a panorama of extraordinary beauty.

Read also: 13 Best Places To Get Married In Italy [2024]

The architecture of Villa Balbianello, a journey through the centuries

 Villa Balbianello, overlooking Lake Como at the end of the Dosso di Lavedo, constitutes an architectural complex that includes the Villa, the Loggia, the Guardian’s House, the Ghiacciaia, the Bosco House, the Greenhouse and a vast park-garden. The main structure, developed on six floors, preserves the original façade with bell towers from the ancient monastery.

View of the terrace of Villa Balbianello on Lake Como

 The garden, characterized by “candelabrum” shaped plantains, statues, wisteria and picturesque paths between box and laurel hedges, is home to centuries-old trees such as holm oaks, camphor trees, magnolias and cypresses, together with azaleas and rhododendrons. Despite the limited space on the rocky peninsula, the garden stands out for its originality, ditching the traditional canons of an Italian or English garden. The entire ambience of the Balbianello garden is harmonized with the view of the lake and its shores, creating an atmosphere that focuses on the beauty of the water.

Bride overlooking Lake Como from the terrace of Villa Balbianello

 The loggia, commissioned by Cardinal Durini, offers a panoramic view of the opposing landscapes of Tremezzina and Comacina Island. The interior, enriched with 17th and 18th century furniture, Flemish tapestries, Chinese terracottas and works of art, includes the cartographer’s room with Guido Monzino’s maps and the library with its vast collection of volumes dedicated to mountaineering and polar expeditions.

Read also: Everything You Need To Know If You Want To Get Married In Italy

A precious treasure guarded by the FAI

A villa with such a fascinating history, located in such a wonderful and unique setting, cannot remain hidden from the eyes of the public. The FAI, an organization that protects and preserves Italy’s artistic, historical and landscape heritage, as well as being the owner of the structure, organizes guided tours inside the villa to tell and show its secrets and beauty, attracting thousands of curious visitors every year, especially on the special occasions when they organize public events in which they narrate the life of the explorer Guido Monzino.

aerial view of Lake Como

 Although this structure represents a place of collective interest, the villa still maintains its aura of exclusivity because it can also host dinners, aperitifs, presentations, or any other type of private event. In fact, the large spaces of the structure can accommodate up to 130 guests, offering fully customizable services and guaranteeing great versatility according to the guests’ needs. Organizing an event here not only means choosing a definitely unique location, but is also a true love declaration to our country: the proceeds from this type of event, in fact, help the FAI to preserve this and many other Italian jewels.

A unique stage for exclusive events

Imagine having this unique location reserved exclusively for you and your family to celebrate the most special day of your life: it’s a bit like having the Coliseum all to yourself! A truly exclusive experience that, when relieved through photographs and videos of that day, will make you feel like Hollywood stars. This is no coincidence: the Villa is also famous because it can be reserved as a set for film productions or even fashion shoots. This jewel set on Lake Como exudes beauty and invites you to marvel, to fill your eyes with its magnificence, which is precisely why it is chosen as the location for so many great film productions.

The gardens and rooms of the villa still echo with the footsteps of stars such as Daniel Craig and Eva Green, who filmed some scenes of Casino Royale here, the first film in the series with Craig playing Her Majesty’s most famous spy, just as in the gardens it’s still easy to imagine the fascination of the love plots recounted in A Month at the Lake, with Uma Thurman, set in the first half of the 20th century. The Villa is always depicted as an idyllic love nest, a love that goes beyond time and even… space! Just imagine that it was here that the scene of the first kiss between Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and the beautiful Princess Amidala (Natalie Portman), protagonists of the Star Wars saga, was filmed. Exclusive as it may be, this dream is not unattainable, indeed it is possible to reserve the villa for wedding parties and civil ceremonies.

Read also: Aman Chain Hotels: A Luxurious Retreat Around the World

How to organize your wedding here? By relying on the wedding planner!

 To secure this dream location as the stage for your wedding, simply contact Michela Sormani (m.sormani@fondoambiente.it), the venue’s official event planner. Michela is an expert in the field, whose job is to follow guests from the first contact to listen to their wishes and turn them into reality. She will, in fact, manage every organizational step, directly contacting the best suppliers: from catering to set-ups, passing through music service, florists and so on, everything will be in her hands: a guarantee for those who maybe live somewhere else in the world and not know where to start or who to contact. In addition, Michela is responsible for arranging contracts with suppliers and will help you define the timeline of your event, so that your special day will be a success.

Bridal Shoes, ring and earrings

This step is fundamental: when you are at Villa Balbianello you will want to savor every moment of your day, without having to worry about timelines or managing other people, so it is essential to rely on a professional like Michela who will make everything work like a well-oiled mechanism. As a video maker, I really enjoy working in synergy with the rest of the team, especially when it is of a high standard: it helps me to plan which highlights to capture promptly, to better discover the most scenic spots of the location and in general to better render the splendid atmosphere of these moments. I think that a place like Villa Balbianello is not only the dream of any couple in love, but also of people like me who work ‘behind the scenes’ as planners, photographers, videographers and suppliers: not only because of its aura of luxury and exclusivity, but because in a setting like this everyone can really shine and make the most of their work and talent!

Read also: Wedding Video: The Best Choice You Can Do For Your Event

How much does it cost to organize a wedding at Villa Balbianello?

 In recent years, the trend of extended weddings over three days has gained increasing popularity. This formula envisions a welcome on the first day, the second dedicated to the actual ceremony and wedding party with spectacular arrangements, and the third for an emotional farewell brunch. To realize a wedding of this kind, a significant budget must be considered, with expenses ranging from €150,000 to over 1 million for larger weddings.

Bride overlooking Lake Como

However, for shorter ceremonies, rental rates start from a minimum of €1,500 for events with less than ten guests to a maximum of €30,000 for a hundred guests. Villa Balbianello is committed to offering customized options to suit the budget and specific needs of each client. This customized approach ensures that Villa Balbianello is not only an extraordinary venue, but also accessible to anyone wishing to celebrate a special moment while maintaining total control over their budget.

Read also: The Comprehensive Guide to Wedding Videographer Costs in Italy

How a luxury wedding takes place 

 The wedding celebration at Villa Balbianello offers a wide range of options to create an unforgettable event. A civil or symbolic ceremony can take place in the villa’s charming church square or in the renowned Loggia Durini. For those who desire a Catholic ceremony, the nearby church of Santo Stefano offers a sacred and evocative setting.

Bride gets ready with her mum and friends

Once the wedding has taken place, the picturesque garden overlooking the lake becomes the perfect setting for romantic photos and video shoots for the newly wed couples. The itinerary continues with guests moving to the suggestive Terrazzo Canfora for a refined aperitif, while the reception can be held in the cozy intimacy of the Loggia Segrè or on the panoramic Terrazza a Lago, giving the entire event a magical atmosphere. In case of bad weather, two elegant marquees on the Terrazza a Lago are available to ensure maximum comfort during the event.

Madi and Jesse’s wedding

I had the chance to see with my own eyes the wonders of this place I have written and told you about so far, and to work there during the wedding of a beautiful married couple, Madi and Jesse. The two young lovers came literally from the other side of the world, together with their families, in order to experience the most important and special day of their lives here in Italy, at Villa del Balbianello. Let me tell you about their story, though.

Smiling bride during her wedding


Madi and Jesse have known each other since their high school days, and they have never left each other since. Partners in destiny, they have shared every stage of their growing up ever since, facing the challenges of adulthood, finding their first job and sharing their first home. But the climax of this extraordinary love story took them across the ocean to Villa Balbianello.

Groom reads his wedding vows

As the guests made their triumphal entrance by boat, preparing to welcome the bride and groom directly to the estate, Madi and Jesse got ready in the spacious and bright rooms of the Villa. The weather was perfect, the air blew lightly through the rooms and made the curtains dance as the bride and groom dressed in their very elegant suits. After getting ready, they shared the moment of the first look at one of the Villa’s beautiful panoramic terraces, where they then said their vows and their fateful “I do!”. The terraces, lush gardens and timeless atmosphere of Villa Balbianello helped to make that day truly unforgettable, one that will remain forever in the hearts of all who were lucky enough to be a part of it.

Read also: Love on the Como Lake: A Family Wedding in Bellagio

Luxury services and entertainment along the shores of the Lake

The great attractiveness of Villa Balbianello in contemporary times, combined with the historical name of the area as a tourist place for wealthy people, over the years has allowed many attractions and activities for discerning visitors to flourish in the vicinity of the municipality that hosts it, making stays in this area absolutely unforgettable. We are on Lake Como, and as you can well imagine there are plenty of maritime services that make it possible to get to the villa via lake or even just to take a scenic tour of the surroundings, to discover the most breathtaking scenery: starting from the most classic taxi-boats for transfers up to real luxury experiences such as breakfasts or aperitifs on a boat, to enjoy a moment of absolute relaxation. But why be limited to water transportation?

wedding il villa del balbianello

In the area, it is also possible to book aerial tours, with ultralight planes or helicopters: in this way you will be able to have an unprecedented and exclusive view of the surroundings. Like any self-respecting luxury experience, these services are often customizable to meet the needs and desires of guests. Speaking of luxury, there are no less than four Michelin-starred restaurants on the shores of Lake Como (Materia, Sereno al Lago, Kitchen, and i Tigli n Theoria), all of which can be reached from the villa within just an hour! 

Sposi abbracciati sul Lago di Como

Bride and Groom hugging on Lake Como

If you are in the neighborhood, it is definitely an experience worth trying: the magic of Italian cuisine combined with the sophistication, service and quality of these restaurants is something simply indescribable. All strictly accompanied by a good glass of Italian wine: by the way, did you know that many wineries in the area also offer guided tours and tastings? To treat yourself to another pampering, you can also visit one of the many luxury spas that dot the shores of the lake: there really are ones for every desire, strictly overlooking the beautiful waters of Lake Como.

Read also: Best Italian Designers For Luxury Bridal Gowns

What to do around the Lake

The Lake is a true wonder, which knows how to offer its visitors numerous and varied activities: this is possible thanks to its “hybrid” nature, which is a little bit of the sea and a little bit of the mountains and thus allows one to savor a little of one and a little of the other. There are so many activities to be discovered in this regard in these areas: we are close to the Italian Alps, so even with small trips it is possible to trek three of the world’s most famous mountains, or engage in other sports and hiking activities nearby.

villa del balbianello

Even if you are not a sports lover, you can find many other activities that take advantage of the surrounding beauty to have an extra edge, specifically I recommend you inquire about concerts or small festivals that are organized on the lake: there are several every year that manage to meet the most varied tastes! On the other hand, if you prefer a more exclusive experience, or want to surprise your partner, it is even possible to organize small private classical music concerts in the midst of nature.

What do you think about our videos? Let's keep in touch!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

FAQ

Ready to answer to all of your questions and needs

Sure! You can request the price quotation by calling me or filling out the form. If you prefer, you can also send an email to this address: info@thirtyfivestudios.com

Weddings and elopements are confirmed only by contract and first deposit. Usually couples book their event 6-9 months in advance: for this reason, please contact us in time so that we can check our availability immediately.

It’s important to note that a date cannot be reserved until a formal contract is signed with our videoography studio. This policy is in place due to continuous inquiries, as multiple couples might request the same date during the same period.

 

Generally work is divided into two types: weddings and elopements.

For the wedding what is delivered is:

  • Trailer 4K (from 2 to 4 minutes).
  • Film 4K (from 10 to 15 minutes).
  • Extra videos 4K (these are video clips in addition containing full speeches, dances and other things).

 

For the elopement what is delivered is:

  • Instagram Reel (60 seconds).
  • Film 4K (from 5 to 7 minutes).

 

However, nothing prevents you from extending your requests when signing the contract. Request more information and take a look at our pricelist to find out about all the services we offer.

In our packages, travel and stay expenses are included in the cost because we regularly travel throughout Italy to shoot weddings. Being based in different places in Italy, we do not inflate prices for travel because we are close to major and famous wedding locations. Therefore, no matter where in Italy you choose to have your wedding, our costs remain the same.

The payment is divided in three parts:

  • 40% to block the date with signing of the contract.
  • 40% the day of the event.
  • 20% after checking the videos.


As soon as we receive the last payment, you can download the videos from our personal Google Drive.

Please note that VAT is included in our prices. However, our prices are listed in Euros, not in dollars, and any currency conversion fees and taxes from their originating bank are the responsibility of the clients.

 

Generally, no more than 90 days, as written in the contract. However, by choosing “fast delivery” you can receive the finished work within 15 days.

The videos are delivered in digital format via our Google Drive. However, upon extra payment, you can request a usb pen box set on which you can keep a copy of the videos.

Our videography studio operates as a cohesive team with a shared vision and methodology. Consequently, we can all ensure the same reliability and style consistency, However, during our acquaintance you will know immediately if I will be free for your event or if my team will be present.

For years so far, we have chosen not to charge for the drone as for a service apart, so it is already included in our basic package and there is no increase in price. This instrument will be used at our discretion, where there is needed. 

In some places drone use is unfortunately not permitted. In that case we will use 4K stock aerial footage of the location.

In a wedding we generally stay from 8 to 10 hours. For an elopement the service time ranges from 4 to 6 hours.

Obviously it is possible to create a tailor-made contract for you in order to cover the entire event (welcome dinner, night party, post and pre wedding experiences).

Yes, you can make some small changes to the video such as scene changes. It is not possible to change the music because the music is always chosen by the couple before starting the assembly phase. 

We always give the couple the choice of two important things:
the music and the parts of the speeches.

The music can be chosen by the couple before or after the wedding day.

For the speeches, however, we send the couple all the videos of the speeches and the couple can tell us the most important minutes they want to have in the video.

In this way we try to create a product that is as close to what the couple would like to receive.

Obviously this is not a requirement. If the couple doesn’t want to do this, they can totally rely on our personal taste.

Under the Tuscan Sun: Inside Wedding

The importance of dreams is a timeless concept, a beacon that guides our decisions and our path, giving meaning to the crucial moments of our lives. Each of us, in one way or another, nurtures a dream, a desire deep in our hearts, often pursued with passion and determination throughout

READ MORE »

A Tuscan Dream: Villa Cungi Wedding Story

Weddings in Tuscany are a classic for foreigners who decide to come to celebrate their love in our country. Getting married with the scenery of the hills of this wonderful region is a real daydream, even more so if we have the opportunity to share so much beauty with people

READ MORE »

Love on the Como Lake: A Family Wedding in Bellagio

The wedding day is a dream which many cherish from even before knowing their soulmate. Some imagine a big party, surrounded by friends and family, while others wish for a more intimate and private situation in which they can simply get lost in their lover’s eyes… In any case, what

READ MORE »
This site uses some types of cookies necessary for the proper functioning of the same. If you want to know more or refuse consent, consult the Cookie Policy. By clicking on Accept, you consent to the use of Cookies.