It is one of the most famous villas of the lake, set apart and sad, with a mysterious and disquieting aspect. It seems that upon the building heap an inscrutable aura, quite as the ghosts that disturbed its first owner, the count Giovanni Anguissola of Piacenza, hidden here after he took part to the conspiracy in which Pier Luigi Farnese was killed, are still in the air.
The elegant dwelling, erected in 1573, is called "Pliniana" because Plinio il Vecchio and il Giovane described the intermittent waterfall that is near the villa; the water hurls down a 80 meters drop.
The villa rises in a solitary creek; uncertain is the name of the constructor.
It was sold to the count Pirro Visconti Borromeo, but the first works of improvement were made by the Canarisi and, at half of the 1800's, by the prince Emilio Barbiano di Belgioioso.
He lived in this villa, for eight years, a passionate love with Anna Berthier, princess of Wagram and wife of the duke of Plaisance.
From the Belgioioso family the villa passed to the Trotti and, in 1890, to the Valperga di Masino.
In the 1700's and in the 1800's it was dwelling of artists and personalities as Giuseppe II, Napoleon, Bellini, Rossini, Lord Byron, Foscolo, and Fogazzaro.
The imposing facade with four orders of windows is lightened through the elegant porch, the interior halls are furnished with elegant furnitures, decorations, works of art and relics: among them stands out a portrait of Cristina Belgioioso, painted by Hayez in 1818.
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