We escape to a breathtaking Art Nouveau estate overlooking Lake Como in the Italian commune of Argegno, carefully brought back to life by Studio Daminato.

Villa Peduzzi by Studio Daminato sees the meticulous restoration of an abandoned century-old villa overlooking one of the world’s most renowned lakes. Known locally as ‘Il Castello in Cielo’ or ‘the castle in the sky’, Villa Peduzzi was originally built in 1909 as a large family residence, designed by its then Italian family patriarch.

Like many villas in Italy and across Europe, the home was left unoccupied for 50 years before Studio Daminato’s recent intervention in 2016. Led by Adelaide-born designer Albano Daminato, Studio Daminato were commissioned by the new owners to modernise the historic home to accommodate up to 14 guests, offering an unmatched hospitality experience in the heart of Lombardy.

Villa Peduzzi is built on the site of a medieval watchtower and sits 881 metres above the lake with no immediate neighbours in sight. The main villa is set within a wrap-around terraced garden, built on a stone plinth that formerly housed water cisterns and cellars. Recessed into the hill, the new pool house and rooftop garden appear as though they’ve been there all along.

The reconfiguration of the floorplan encourages togetherness in the main living areas while also promoting quiet time and moments of calm through a series of private courtyards and outlooks around the villa and surrounding gardens.

The ground level of the villa houses the communal areas, with an entrance hall, library, piano salon, living room, open kitchen (fully staffed by a private chef) and dining space, formal dining room and a sunroom. These rooms have direct access through French doors to the stone-clad terrace for outdoor dining and entertaining in the summer months. Off the formal dining room, an outdoor corridor leads to a fully equipped gym, yoga room and drawing room.

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The Nanna Ditzel Basket chair

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The first and second floors mirror each other in layout and are accessed by the central stone-clad stairway or lift. Here you’ll find four bedrooms with private bathrooms, enjoying pristine lake views to the south and sunset views to the west. Studio Daminato have considered every age group on the top floor, making way for a cinema room, family lounge, outdoor terrace bar and games area in the previous rooftop attic.

The interiors pay homage to the era the estate was built, evoking a sense of design authenticity true to the region. Studio Daminato delicately restored the existing liberty-style ceiling frescoes and studied eminent Italian painter Giorgio Morandi’s signature tonal colour palette of soft pastel when redesigning the interior, to ensure it levelled up to its exterior.

Each material, textile, and finish in the villa was inspired by the murals found in the original building to unite old and new. A tasteful mix of vintage, mid-century, and custom-designed furniture sit side-by-side with Italian and Scandinavian design classics, tapping into the charm and eclectism of traditional Italian villas.

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Each bedroom in the villa looks up to a restored fresco painting.

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This bedroom features a curation of vintage Danish pieces, such as the 1930s wall mirror, 1960s nesting tables and the Flip Flop dresser, accompanied by the Carl Hansen & Son CH20 Elbow chair.

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Villa Peduzzi’s new pool and pool pavilion are a contemporary addition, with large steel frame doors, sleek furniture and tiled floors. Featuring an outdoor bar, chef’s kitchen and jacuzzi, the pool house is designed as an idyllic place to take in the lake views – with a drink in hand, of course.

Studio Daminato have taken the once-neglected Villa Peduzzi and sensitively restored not only the beauty and grandeur of what once was but elevated it to the prized spectacle of Lake Como. 

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Scenic views from the pool house.

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Recessed into the hill, the new pool house and rooftop garden appear as though they’ve been there all along.