Villa Olmo is building in the Neoclassical-style by Marquis Innocenzo Oldeschali. Construction commenced in 1782 and was completed in 1797. The design was commenced under Innocenzo Regazzoni of Balerna in Switzerland but completed under the direction of Ticino architect Simone Cantoni who made modifications to the original plans. Cantoni collaborated with Domenico, Carlo, Luca and Gieseppe Pozzi and the sculptor Caraballi.
Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have visited in 1797 and Ugo Foscolo in 1809.
When Innocenzo Odescalchi died in 1824, the villa passed to Raimondi family. In 1835, the Queen of The Two Sicilies and the Queen of Sardinia were guests. Later guests included the Emporer of Austria Francis Ferdinand I and Maria Caroline, the Prince of Metternich, Marshal Fadestzsky and Giuseppe Garibaldi.
In 1883, the heirs of the Marquis of Raimondi sold the villa to the Duke Guido Visconti of Modroni whose restoration and improvement programme included the interior of the building. Modifications were made under the direction of the architect Emilio Allemgna. The stable and the portico facing the lake were knocked down and the entrance was renovated. The cieling of the entrance hall was knocked down. Stucco and decorations were added to the rooms of the first floor.
In 1924, the Villa passed from the Visconti di Modrone to the City of Como. Since 1982, the Villa has hosted international events as the "Allesandro Volta" Centre of Scientific Culture.
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Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook