|New Villa d'Este|
|Built on beautiful Lake Como in Italy in 1568 by architect Pellegrino Tibaldi, known as "Il Pellegrini", as a private residence for Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, it was considered one of the finest examples of architecture and landscaping. The building was known as Villa del Garrovo, after the small stream, which flowed into Lake Como there.
At the end of the eighteenth century the building was bequeathed to marchese Bartolomeo Calderara who restored it, together with his wife Vittoria Peluso. When Calderara died his widow married count Domenico Pino, Napoleon's general, and for him she built a few small towers and walls in memory of some strongholds taken by storm in Spain. In late August of 1815 countess Pino sold Villa del Garrovo to Caroline of Brunswick (1768-1821), estranged wife of England's heir, the Prince Regent.
Princess Caroline named the property New Villa D'Este, to differentiate it from the Villa d'Este at Tivoli, after her remote ancestor one Guelfo d'Este. By this time the family of Bartolomeo Pergami dominated her household. His former commander General Pino had recommended Pergami to Caroline as a courier for her trip into Italy. The tall dark and handsome 33 year old former Austrian Army officer soon received the gift of an estate in the south of Sicily that came with the title of baron from the 47 year old Caroline.
As a nobleman he could now be appointed the Princess's chamberlain. In November 1815, while the villa was being enlarged, the Princess fitted up a polacca, a three masted trading ship, and sailed to Tunis, Athens, Constantinople, Acre, and the Holy Land. She returned to the Villa September 16, 1816. New Villa d'Este had been redecorated and a library and theater had been added to the building. Caroline placed the famed statue Venus Crowned by Eros attributed to Canova in her suite. While Princess Caroline lived a life of scandalous and ill advised self indulgence the Regent's Milan Commission gathered evidence against her for divorce.
|Canova: Venus Crowned by Eros|
|Henry Brougham was negotiating a divorce agreement for her when George III died. Caroline injudiciously returned to England where she was tried for adultery before Parliament in a failed attempt by George IV to divorce her. Even though no divorce was granted George IV repulsed Caroline's attempts to be included in his July 19th of 1821 Coronation. She died on August 7, 1821 of an unknown gastric disorder. Speculation included everything from poison to a tumor to the mysterious illness of her Uncle George III. Vittorina, the daughter of Pergami was to inherit the estate according to the Princess's will, but she had been forced due to her debts to place the deed of the villa in the hands of her banker Giovanni Torlonia of Rome (He was also Napoleon's banker.), when she left Italy. Princess Caroline intended to redeem the deed with the settlement she received from George IV, but this was not to be. The Villa d'Este (The word new was dropped.) passed through a number of owners until it was renovated in 1873 and turned into a luxurious hotel. The hotel has a collection of sixteenth-century paintings and sculptures. A large park, with caves, fountains and statues, surrounds the Villa.|