oday’s myths, forever myths

How does it happen that a geographical location becomes over the course of time a unique and inimitable point of reference? Just as a wine, a high cuisine recipe, a universal media event, it becomes a symbol, a world-renowned synonym for quality, sophistication, exclusivity. A certain sparkling wine becomes for everyone and forever champagne; the eggs of a specific river fish become caviar; the adventures of a world renowned secret agent, the man who loves Vodka-Martini (not stirred but shacken, of course) become the opportunity for making viewers dream by showing the most beautiful locations in the world.

The truth is, trying to understand how myths become myths, not only is it useless, but also terribly complicated. The explanations would drag in an endless number of disciplines and knowledge: from iconography to the history of art, of architecture, of traditions and of cultural and styling trends.
However, as far as Lake Como is concerned, it is quite easy to understand all the reasons that have transformed this blessed area into an international jet-set location for the last three centuries (let alone since the Roman era). Followers of this website know very well that the reason that makes this Lake so unique is the extraordinary bond between nature and culture. A connection so perfectly balanced as to generate an absolutely unique and exclusive idea of pleasure and well-being.

This being said, it becomes easy to understand how one of the most enduring icons of the collective imagination, the incredible character that has become James Bond, ended up in one of his recent stories finding himself on Lake Como. Casino Royal, produced in 2006, a movie that has given its character a new substance as well as almost crepuscular features, was in fact set at Villa Balbianello. Built at the end of the 18th century, the Villa is located on the tip of a promontory overlooking Lake Como, almost facing Bellagio.
Today the villa reflects the taste of its most recent owner, the explorer Guido Monzino, and its visitors can enjoy a lavish collection of Chinese, African and pre-Colombian art, as well as French and English pieces of furniture dating back to the ‘700s. But the true masterpiece is its panoramic terraced garden, dominated by the elegant three-arched loggia standing on the highest tip of the promontory.

So, the answer to the rhetorical question “what is James Bond doing on Lake Como” is easy and almost banal. The man who introduces himself with the well-known statement “the name is Bond, James Bond”, fosters his charm borrowing one of the marvels of the Lake. An almost obligatory choice when it comes to set a story – as for any movie in the 007 series – in an enchanted scenario. However, this time the mythical Bond takes an even higher than usual risk: the beauty of the scenario can be so overwhelming as to move into the background even the most famous of the actors.

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