Much of the uniqueness of Villa La Scagliola lies in its advantageous position. With 100 metres of lake frontage, it is only of only a small numbers of houses to sit on the lake side of the road.
Yet the park behind the house, connected to the house by two tunnels, enables you to have the best of both worlds – direct access to the lake, and the spacious expanses of a Romantic botanical garden stretching up the hillside behind.
Laid out by the second owner of the villa, Hermann Friedrich Messtorff in 1906, the gardens combine some of the ideals of both English and Italian garden design.
The sculptures commissioned from Adolfo Wildt create the dramatic focuses in the park. From a dais you can gaze up a monumental staircase enlaid with mosaic to the Temple of Venus, goddess of Love, framed by giant Cypresses, and guarded by a pair of Roman warriors.
Or you can look down to the main part of the gardens and the Dying Gaul while contemplating your mortality.
Here, the planting is dominated by box hedging, magnolia grandiflora and camillia.
The driveway loops round the park past the stables, built by Guidini in the same style as the main house.
The lakeside gardens have a more restrained feel, with Azalea, Wisteria and Cypress, and paths meandering beneath the vine-covered pillars of the House.
And of course the magic of being able to arrive by boat or slip into the cool, fresh waters for a swim.
Above, the 30m long main terrace commands spectacular views across the lake to Laveno and north to the Alps.