During the 18th century, Villa Aura del Lago was originally known as “Poncetta” – “small cape by the lake” – and was dedicated to the cultivation of wine and to silkworm breeding. More than a century ago, the Villa was bought by Guido Guido (1880–1956), a Milan-based entrepreneur of the silk industry and Knight of the Italian Monarchy. Guido and his wife, Cesira Fazio (1885–1978), felt in love with the town of Limonta and with the stunning view that “Poncetta” offered on Lake Como.
While officially living in Milan, the Guido family used to spend long periods of the year in the Villa. Pictures of the old days show the family fishing, bathing, playing tennis and relaxing.
Luigi (1909–1988) and Lena (1911–2010), the son and daughter of Guido and Cesira, continued the conservation of the property. In 1937, Luigi, a sportsman with a passion for driving, married Ida Doniselli (1916–1987), a fascinating girl of the Milanese bourgeoisie.
Lena had a multifaceted artistic soul. She specialized in decoration and painting in Milan, and many of her artistic creations are still visible today in the house. In 1933, Lena married Nestore Ferretti, a fellow countryman of Limonta. An original picture of the wedding shows Lena and her father Guido walking out of the Villa to the nearby church of San Dionigi. The seemingly un-tarmacked country road is one of the first pictures of Via Diaz (Diaz Street), which constitutes today the primary road that connects Lecco to Bellagio.
Unfortunately, World War II (1940-1945) did not leave the family untouched. The Guido palace in Milan was bombed and the family moved permanently to the Villa. Nestore Ferretti, the husband of Lena, died while fighting in Africa as captain of Bersaglieri, and the community of Limonta proudly named the central square of the town after him. The Villa itself was partially transformed to contribute to the needs of the Italian troops, as in the case of the wrought-iron fence originally surrounding the property, which was replaced by a cement-based one, still visible today. During those hard years, Luigi Guido guided the community of Limonta as Major of the town.
With the end of the war (1945) and the establishment of the Italian Republic (1946), the family moved back to Milan and the Villa continued to be inhabited happily during the summer holidays by the sons of Luigi: Guidino (1938-1998), Cisa (1941) and Nestore (1943).
In the 1970s and 1980s the Guido family strengthened its commitment to the local community of Limonta, contributing actively to its welfare and flourishing. Among his other activities, Nestore acted for many years as Major of Oliveto Lario, the municipality in which the town of Limonta is located.
With the turn of the millennium, Nestore and his son, Emanuele, decided to open the doors of the property to guests. Today all the members of the family – Nestore and his wife Marilena, Emanuele and his wife Giulia – are devoted to make the Villa one of the best examples of sustainable preservation of historical properties on the Lake Como area.
“Preserve with pride the family traditions, and wisely shape the future to make it sustainable for the next generations”
Villa Aura del Lago
Via Diaz 22
Directly facing Lake Como
Village: Limonta – 1 km (0.6 mile)
Town: Bellagio, Central Lake – 4 km (2.5 miles)
Restaurant: traditional Italian "trattoria" next to the gate
Public transport: 5-minute walking distance to the boat and bus stop
Malpensa Airport: 87 km (54 miles)
Linate Airport: 69 km (43 miles)
Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport: 57 km (35.5 miles)