villa pliniana

A place where legend, history and mystery get confused

In Torno in 1570, set in a cold gorge where the sun never shines and wrapped up in air of mystery, on the west shore of Lake Como not far from Cernobbio, the majestic Villa Pliniana was built.

It is known even today for being the house of ghosts, which is said they deranged its first owner, the count Giovanni Anguissola from Piacenza. He sought refuge here because he was persecuted by his guilt, after taking part in the palace conspiracy during which Pier Luigi Farnese was slaughtered.

The Villa is accompanied by the legend of the terrible death of its first owner. Throughout history Anguissola experienced two attacks and he was shocked so much that he fell ill and a few days later he died in his bed in Como.

villa pliniana lake view

The legend gets it close to Farnese’s ghost, who was showing up at the little front door near the lake during the night, hurling the same shout he did when he was pierced by daggers. Every night the nightmare hunted down the count, until the ghost showed up again. While he was trying to catch it, Anguissola glided in the abyss of the lake from where they said he has never come up.

Or better this is what they said; personally during my visit I heard unusual sounds but it was probably only the sound of the waves against the boat. However it could be the cry for help of the poor Anguissola count sank into those waters 500 years ago.

villa pliniana inside room