The story of the duke of Villa Litta

One of the most prestigious historic villas near Milan

In Italy there are many noble villas distributed throughout the territory. Some of these have been owned by the most important families in the history of our country. One of these is Villa Litta which is located in the town of Orio Litta in the Milan area. Italian Traditions will tell you the story of this incredible place. It also leads you on the discovery of the beautiful park where there are numerous water features to entertain the visitor. Finally we will explain where this noble palace is located.


Where it is located

Villa Litta is located in the town of Orio Litta and can be reached by car , via the motorway A8 Milano-Laghi with exit at Lainate. Alternatively, it is possible to arrive from Milan by bus leaving from the Lampugnano station and arriving in Lainate. By train it is possible to reach the Saronno, Rho and Lainate stations from the main Italian cities. The nearest airport is Milan Malpensa.


Its history

The complex was built in the sixteenth century by Count Pirro I Visconti Borromeo who decided to expand his estate and build an important villa on an area originally dedicated to the storage of agricultural products. His love for art and architecture meant that the project was entrusted to important artists of the time. The nymphaeum, for example, was designed by Martino Bassi and was conceived for the exhibition of the private collection of paintings owned by the family.

The structure of Villa Litta remained unchanged until the 20s of the 18th century when Giulio Visconti Borromeo Arese, the last descendant of the dynasty, had a fourth palace built to close the court. On the main floor of this building is the ballroom. The nephew of Giulio Pompeo Litta in the second half of the 18th century had the Ninfeo facades arranged and also started landscaping the park. At the beginning of the nineteenth century an English-style landscaped garden, so fashionable at the time, was placed inside the park.




The villa and the palaces

The count was inspired, for the construction of the complex, by the Medici villas that are located in Tuscany. As previously mentioned, some of the greatest artists and architects of the time were hired. The entrance consists of a body of two-story cottages. From here you can access the Courtyard of Honor surrounded by all the buildings of the complex. To the right are the rustic houses once inhabited by farmers. On the bottom there is the stately home which is the oldest part of the entire building. To the left stands the palace built by Giulio.

The garden

The historic garden is one of the most fascinating areas of this complex. The area consists of about 40000 square meters of surface divided into four green areas by citrus plants. In the garden there are two fountains:

  • the Galatea fountain
  • the fountain of Neptune.

There are also numerous water features scattered throughout the park. These make it a particularly evocative place. Another very interesting feature are also the numerous artificial caves that are located in the garden.


The villa was the center of Milanese noble life until the nineteenth century and has been frequented over the years by some of the most important figures in Italian history and culture. If you want to know about other suggestive places we recommend reading this article too. Now that you know Villa Litta you just have to organize your visit to this enchanting place.

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