Lago di Como
Villa ''Il Pizzo'' overlooks Lake Como set into a long series of terraces, seemingly carved out of the mountain. Situated on a promontory called ''Pizzo'', which in Como dialect means ‘point' or ‘spit', the site was bought in 1435 by Giovanni Mugiasca, a rich merchant from Como. The Mugiasca family built their country house here which only became a refined residence in 1569. In 1630 they fled here to escape the dreaded Manzonian Plague, offering hospitality to several friends in exchange for manual work which involved digging, levelling and terracing the land. Thus the present structure of the garden was created, later to be enlarged at the end of the 18th century by Bishop Giambattista Mugiasca. In the 19th century important improvements were undertaken by the architect Simone Cantoni and subsequently, on the extinction of the Mugiasca family, the complex passed to Arch-Duke Ranieri of Hapsburg, Viceroy of Lombardy-Veneto, who gave free rein to his passion for botany, summoning the famous gardener Villoresi from Monza Royal Palace. In 1865 the ''Pizzo'' passed to a French noblewoman Madame Musard, mistress of King William II of Holland, who dedicated herself to embellishing the Villa and Garden, subsequently leaving it to the Volpi-Bassani family, whose descendants are the present owners.
In the areas nearest to the main buildings are geometric paths running between the flowerbeds, clipped topiary hedges and baroque fountains, typical of formal Italian gardens. The long, renowned Cypress Avenue distinguishes the Villa, even from the lake. Towards Moltrasio the garden increasingly conforms to the English romantic style, more luxuriant, with tall trees interlaced with a system of small paths bordered by a water grotto, pools, streams and the ''Fountain of Alessandro Volta'', often a guest of the Mugiasca family in Villa Pizzo.