Last month, iconic Lake Como hotel Villa d’Este kicked off a year of special events, menus, and programming to celebrate its 150th birthday. The party is expected to rage through the end of the year, culminating with a host of Christmas and New Year’s Eve festivities.
For 150 years, Villa d’Este has played host to some of the world’s biggest names, from royals and heads of state to celebrities like Clark Gable and George Clooney–who sometimes swing by the hotel for a drink with guests such as Barack Obama. Bruce Springsteen has been a regular for almost 25 years.
In April and September, themed dinners will be presented in conjunction with the 190-year-old Teatro Sociale di Como theater company, and features performers who will interact with diners as they tell stories about Villa d’Este. In May, a Friend of Concorso package grants entry to lunches, dinners, parades, and chats with vehicle owners taking part in ultra luxury classic car event Concorso d’Eleganza.
Of all of this year’s festivities, the most exclusive and notable will be the official 150th celebration on June 28. The night will include cocktails, a gala dinner, entertainment and some surprises and will be open to invited VIPs and any guests staying in the hotel at that time. (Rates start at approximately $1,235 per night for a double room, with a three-night minimum required during those dates.)
Throughout the year, travelers can purchase limited-edition commemorative items in the gift shop and explore the grounds to discover “Then and Now” panels, each with photographs, text and a QR code highlighting a notable moment from the hotel’s history. The on-site Veranda restaurant will offer dishes inspired by the hotel kitchens’ classics, while the bars will serve five signature cocktails, each named for one of the villa’s previous owners. Another past proprietor, Caroline of Brunswick, Princess of Wales, who bought the estate in 1815, inspired the new Villa d’Este special-label gin, made using Italian organic soft wheat alcohol and Lake Como–sourced lemon, chamomile, and other botanicals.
For more information or to book a room, head over to Villa d’Este’s official website.
If you’re looking to take part in more special anniversaries, Veuve Clicquot is celebrating its 250th birthday with an epic train travel experience this summer that takes guests from France to Italy aboard the Orient Express.