Lake Como, located about 50 kilometres from Milan, between the provinces of Como and Lecco, is the third largest Italian lake after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore, and is the deepest (410 meters). The lake, one of the most important in Lombardy, with the characteristic inverse Y-shape, splits up into three branches: Como to the southwest, Lecco to the southeast and Colico to the north. From its banks you can enjoy several and fascinating views: suggestive villages, beautiful villas and lush gardens await visitors seeking relaxation, fun and culture in close contact with nature. These places are a true harmony of colours in which the blue of lakes and the green of the forests prevail: a spectacular landscape rich in breathtaking views. The main features of the province of Como are certainly crystal-clear lakes and natural, architectural and artistic beauties, such as gardens and villas, surrounded by a chain of important mountains with impressive peaks and at times sweeter. For two thousand years Lake Como has attracted the most artistic people in the world inviting them to relax, to be inspired and to make contact with the beauty of nature in one of the most romantic locations in the world. The legendary historic villas of Lake Como are a wonderful opportunity to go back in time and experience the life of the wealthy European and Noble families who lived there, the famed novelists who wrote, the composers who created, the artists who painted, and the people who fell in love, all inspired by the charm of this special Italian paradise. Talking about modern times many famous people have or have had homes on the shores of Lake Como, such as Matthew Bellamy, John Kerry, Madonna, George Clooney, Gianni Versace, Ronaldinho, Sylvester Stallone, Julian Lennon, Richard Branson, Ben Spies, and Pierina Legnani
The Villa Oleandra complex was born in the early 700's, though with different shape than the present state. In 1834, the owners of the time, the Stoppani family, made a first blend of the building with the surrounding land, then completed in 1868 by the Antongini family. In 1877 the building, which finally corresponded to the current plan, passed to the Vitali family. Meanwhile, the entire complex had already been converted into a villa, as it results form a reproduction dated 1848. During the 20th century, Villa Oleandra was sold to US owners, the last of which was the family of billionaire John Heinz. And it was the King of the Ketchup in the summer of 2001 to offer help to the scared George Clooney, ditched by his Harley-Davidson right in front of the gates of the villa. The American actor, engaged on a tour around the Alps on his powerful bike, first fell in love with Villa Oleandra, above all the breathtaking view that he could admire from his windows, and shortly decided to buy it for about 10 million of dollars. In the last years some of the guests of Clooney’s villa include Cindy Crawford, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Catherine Zeta Jones and Micheal Douglas. The American actor has been made an honorary citizen, proof of the city great fondness for the illustrious fellow-citizen.
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