What: An Italian villa and celebrity hotspot.

Where: This aristocratic haunt is less than forty-five minutes by car or train from Milan, and just a few minutes from the Swiss border, on the blue-green Lake Como in Cernobbio.

Why: Originally built in 1568 as a summer home for Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, the Villa remained in his family's hands for two centuries before a series of sales that eventually transformed it into a luxury hotel, in 1873. It continues to this day to be a magnet for the well-heeled and powerful, as well as movie stars, composers, writers and artists. While its public rooms and façade have been conserved with an eye to old-fashioned charm, the resort has been completely outfitted with modern amenities and homey, intimate private rooms — no two of which are alike.

When: Open from March through mid-November.