Early morning, town asleep. A woman in a white silk dress, high heels, hair floating in the wind walks lightly down the empty streets of the town. There’s a fresh baguette in her hand and a clutch in the other. Each step synchronized with breathing, taking in the scent of blooming flowers and that lovely smell of freshly baked bread. By the time she’s by the lakeside and all the boats, she gets the boat keys out from the clutch, swiftly taking the baguette under shoulder – softly, not to ruin the crunchy part. Her look is determined – it finds her boat. The boat is nothing too much – a classic wood boat of the lake, given to her by her husband – a class for a class. It’s right there, in the sun. She boards, walks to the wheel, turns the engine on, in tune with the sound of a sudden weave hitting the side of the boat. Baguette and the clutch get the passenger’s seat. Wind touches her face, she closes her eyes for a moment. This time – she remains standing by the wheel. She will take a slightly different route unto the lake. A silent smile, a feeling of being content and happy, as she puts the speed to high and drives off.
The statues of Villa Balbianello have been accompanying such women for more than 230 years, watching their backs so they can calmly cross the lake and head their way home.
About Villa Balbinello
Lake Como is known for its abundance of beautiful villas and their gardens reflecting in the translucent water of the lake. One of such villas is Villa Balbianello. Wikipedia writes (and is not lying) – the villa is located on the tip of the small wooded peninsula of Dosso d’Avedo on the western shore of the south-west branch of Lake Como, not far from the Isola Comacina and is famous for its elaborate terraced gardens.
There are two ways to get there – by boat (the fastest) and foot through the forest on the peninsula. The forest has two paths – shorter and longer – and there are numerous perfect picnic spots with the view unto the lake. Both paths are not for heels. Tested.
Villa Balbianello is also a place where the famous scene of Padme and Darth Vader ( not that he knew he was DV then) wedding was shot. Fans of Stars Wars still flock to the villa, and most loyal ones make their dreams come true of having their wedding ceremonies there. In the image below – a scene from the courtyard of the villa. The courtyard has much to offer – there are the beautiful villa’s buildings exteriors, terraces, various flowers and plants, and statues who look like the protectors of the villa, guarding also its visitors from daily worries.
The painting is inspired by my most recent trip to Lake Como when I also managed to visit the villa. Photos from my trip (used for the painting).
Recently the Magazine of the Russian Geographic Society “Vokrug Sveta” did a review of the villas, also Villa Balbianello, sharing a short insight of who manages them today to keep the villas as authentic and beautiful as they are.
As a member of FAI, The Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI) – the National Trust of Italy, I think the organizations’ website says the most and gives the most practical and up to date information available on the Villa https://www.fondoambiente.it/villa-del-balbianello-eng
The painting was done on a spring evening, dreaming of the time when I will be able to go to Lake Como again.