One of Lake Como's overlooked parks is a city-owned garden in Tremezzo that is listed among the "most beautiful parks in Italy" network. The park now called Parco Teresio Olivelli was once part of a noble villa. The wisps of time have erased its original history but the property appears on land records maps as early as 1723. It became known as Villa Meier for its owners at the beginning at the 20th century, who were responsible for redesigning the gardens.

Today the city park is a gem, lying on the lakeshore between more famous and more visited gardens. This one shouldn't be missed, though, because it's lovely and also free! The Meier family enlisted local architect Pietro Lingeri to renovate the villa and redesign the gardens in the 1920s. He rollowed the geometric lines of Villa Colonna in Rome. There is a monumental staircase and fountain at its center. Lake views, a variety of plants and an overall atmosphere of calm and sophistication pervade the park.

An unusual feature is the octagonal structure called the Tarocchiera. Set among trees, it looks like a chapel but is said to have been constructed for the amusement of four noble families. The four angles without windows held armoires, one for each family, to hold their wine, spirits and games. They gathered to play cards, specifically tarot cards according to the name given the pavilion -"tarocchi" means "tarot" in Italian. The structure now bears the name of Teresio Olivell, a partisan who was given the Gold Medal of Military Valor for his efforts in WWII. It is used for art and cultural events.

Enjoy a relaxing stroll and a trip back in time at this lovely spot.

The Parco Teresio Olivelli Garden is open daily from 7:00 AM til 1:00 PM. Free.

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Address in Tremezzo:

Via Regina, 1.

Ph. (+39) 034 455 83600.

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