The Castle of Monguzzo
The Castle of Monguzzo is located halfway between Como and Lecco and dominates a large part of the upper Brianza from its strategic position on the top of a hill. Its origins seem to date back to the time of Berengar, king of Italy in the 10th century. However its most famous tenant was Gian Giacomo Medici, known as il Medeghino, who made it his base of operations during the occupation of Brianza. The first part of the war between Gian Giacomo Medici and Francesco II Sforza took place in Monguzzo. The castle was almost entirely rebuilt at the beginning of the twentieth century with the aim of keeping intact the charm and medieval references of this place with an epic and adventurous past. Currently the building is owned by the Fatebenefratelli Opera.
Villa Taverna - Canonica
The woods, the Lambro, the parks and the gardens of some aristocratic residences make Canonica and its surroundings a suggestive landscape pole. The main street and the buildings converge on Villa Taverna, a fine example of civil architecture built on a sixteenth-century fortress by Count Francesco Taverna, the great chancellor of the Duchy of Milan from 1532 to 1552. It is said that Giampaolo Osio, lover of the nun of Monza, known as Egidio in Manzoni's stories, found refuge here. The villa boasts a beautiful Italian garden, remarkable vaulted rooms and a monumental staircase. At its side stands the parish church of Santa Maria della Neve, built in the seventeenth century and recently restored both internally and externally, while the Baroque oratory of Sant'Eurosia (1735) stands out in front.
Palazzo Carpani Beauharnais - Pusiano
The palace, the cradle of the Carpani family of marquises, owes its second name to Napoleon's stepson, Eugenio Beauharnais, who was in charge of it between 1805 and 1814, when he was Viceroy of Italy. He bought and used the alp above Erba, which he called "Alpe del Vicerè", as a refreshment station for his horses.
The building also housed the Archduke Ferdinand of Habsburg and was chosen as the summer residence of the Austrian viceroys for its pleasant location on the shores of the lake. The central body, of which there are two wooden ceilings painted in 1521, has an imposing staircase that adds sumptuousness to the building. Transformed in 1930 into a seminary by the Rosminian Fathers, it is now the seat of a public school.
Villa Mellerio - Lesmo and Villa Visconti - Macherio
In Gerno stands, in a panoramic position over the Lambro valley, the Villa Mellerio "Il Gernetto", an imposing late neo-classical complex built before 1815 by the vice president of the Lombardy-Veneto government, Count Giacomo Mellerio. It consists of numerous buildings with large courtyards, on which stands the tower. The terraced garden is one of the best examples of Italian garden both for the design and for the variety of plants. The chapel houses funeral bas-reliefs sculpted by Canova. Not far away, in Macherio, there is Villa Visconti "Il Belvedere", built in 1907 on the remains of a hunting lodge already belonging to the Viscounts of Modrone. The villa, located on the top of a small hill, is immersed in an English park of great scenic effect.
Villa Crivelli - Inverigo
Inverigo boasts three of the most important monuments of Brianza: Villa Crivelli, Villa Cagnola and Villa Sormani alla Pomelasca.
The first was built by incorporating the remains of a sixteenth-century castle and still shows the tower, the guardhouse and the ancient prisons next to a more modern wing built in 1814 on a design by the architect Pollack.
The gardens, designed with particular scenic sensitivity, were decorated in the eighteenth century with sandstone statues. Spectacular is the famous "Viale dei Cipressi", which with its 2 km is the longest in all of Brianza.
Commissioned by the Marquis Giovanni Battista Crivelli in 1644 to connect the villa to the sanctuary of S. M. della Noce, it was then extended towards the Navello farmhouse and in the following century towards Villa Cagnola.
Villa Sacro Cuore - Tregasio (Triuggio)
Since 1984 it has been the house of spirituality of the Diocese of Milan, but originally the Villa Sacro Cuore of Tregasio was a country property of the Morigia family. In 1546 it was donated to the Congregation of the Barnabites, of which Anton Giacomo Morigia had been one of the founders. With Napoleon, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the villa became a state property. Purchased by engineer Susani, it was used for breeding silkworms and spinning. The Jesuits, who became its owners in 1917, restored it adding two side wings. The villa takes its name from the statue of the Sacred Heart almost 5 meters high after the turret of the building in 1922. In the quiet of its rooms San Carlo Borromeo and Sant'Alessandro Sauli spent, among others, their days of prayer and study.
La Rotonda and Villa Sormani alla Pomelasca
Villa Cagnola, called "La Rotonda", was built at the beginning of the nineteenth century based on a design by Luigi Cagnola. The monumental building, surmounted by a dome dominating the entire Valle del Lambro, is a triumph of classical references: the Roman pantheon, Greek propylaea, Renaissance and Palladian elements. The most original element is the loggia dei Giganti, on the south façade, supported by six "telamons", sculpted by Pompeo Marchesi in the act of supporting the upper terraced floor. The complex of Villa Sormani alla Pomelasca is instead inserted in a context of rare balance between cultivated nature and human works. Property of the Sormani counts of Missaglia, the villa was built in the nineteenth century on a design by Carlo Amati, the architect who completed the façade of the Milan Cathedral.
Casa Museo Parini - Bosisio Parini
In the historical center of Bosisio Parini, there is the birthplace of Giuseppe Parini. Here the famous poet, librettist and translator, was born on May 23, 1729 and lived until the age of ten, when he moved to Milan, where he completed his studies and became one of the leading exponents of Neoclassicism and Italian Enlightenment. The house was used as a museum in 1961, after a restoration. On the occasion of the bicentenary of the poet's death (1999) the museum has been completely renovated. Today the rooms contain furnishings and domestic utensils of the eighteenth century and offer tourists a testimony of how people lived in those times. There are also panels that illustrate the life of the Parini family with words and images.