Love and poetry at Villa del Grumello
Over the centuries, Villa del Grumello, on Lake Como, has welcomed many famous Italian poets and writers.
While its current look is the result of renovations in the 16th and 19th century, the historical residence certainly dates back to before the 15th century. It was the set of an intense love story between Ugo Foscolo (whose herma you’ll find in the garden) and Francesca Giovio; it was also where Silvio Pellico fell in love with Francesca’s sister, Felicia. The two girls were daughters of the Villa’s owner, Marquis Giovan Battista Giovio, a friend of the two literary men.
Here is what Foscolo wrote in a letter to his beloved in 1809:
“[coming back] to Grumello one evening, and looking at the lake, the hills, and the house where I saw you for the first time, and thinking I’d soon have to leave – my desire to live here forever could not set you apart from the places and people I had grown to care about so much…”
And here is what Pellico wrote to Felicia, in 1819:
“Milan is a swirling whirlwind that goes around men and never leaves them alone. It’s impossible to be a poet here. You can very well be a worker, a critic, a politician, anything that does not bring the imagination to ideal beauty. Ideal beauty – poetry – needs countryside peace, solitude, quiet company. Grumello! Grumello! I often remember and long for you!”
Here is their Villa of love and poetry.