Villa Pliniana was built in 1573 around the spring that carries the same name.
The name “Pliniana” is inspired to the famous naturalists native of Como, Plinio the Elder and Plinio the Younger, whom, first described the spring and its peculiar intermittence in the first century A.D.. Through time other distinguished scientists, including Leonardo Da Vinci and Benedetto Giovio, studied the spring as well.
The construction of the villa is due to the will of Count Giovanni Anguissola, governor of Como, whom decided to transform the spring and the surrounding land in a place of delight.
Through the centuries the villa went through alternated periods of great splendor and abandonment. The Visconti, the Canarisi and the Belgiojoso are among families who contributed to the splendor époques of the Villa.
Many famous guests over the years visited the Pliniana: among them the poet Percy Shelley, who left a wonderful description of the villa, Gioacchino Rossini who composed Tancredi in the villa itself , Napoleon whom “is said” to have played on the still existing billiard, Antonio Fogazzaro who adopted the villa as the set of his novel Malombra, later transformed by Mario Soldati into an homonymous movie in 1942 set in the villa itself. The villa has been visited by many famous writers (Byron, Foscolo, Berchet, Stendhal) musicians (Liszt and Bellini), scientists (Volta, Spallanzani and Ghezzi) and monarchs Joseph II of Austria and Margherita of Savoy.
After a long and meticulous restoration work, today the villa has been returned to its former splendor.