The STAR WARS movies captured my interests from the very first time I watched the first movie in 1978. As a young child, I was immediately drawn into these wonderful futuristic, yet believable worlds. The space scenes, the desert landscapes of Tatooine, and the jungles of Yavin 4 all seemed like places I could imagine myself visiting someday.

Here we are 42 years later, and there have been 11 other movie releases under the STAR WARS franchise. Chantil and I are both a bit disappointed that we’re not riding on hover-bikes yet, and that civilian space flight is an exclusive reality only for billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

Despite these disappointments, we can still travel and visit many of the places where these iconic movies were filmed. One such place is Villa del Balbianello on the shores of Lake Como, Italy.

In STAR WARS: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala were married in a secret wedding on Naboo only witnessed by the droids C-3PO and R2-D2. This makes me wonder, are droids good at keeping secrets?

Anakin and Padmé on the shores of Naboo.

Our experience at Villa del Balbianello started with reserving tickets online for 15 euros each. The tickets included access to the loggia, museums, garden areas, and woodland trails. We booked the first tickets for the day so we could enjoy the serene beauty of this unique place without too many tourists.

This impressive villa, overlooking Italy’s Lake Como, started as a monastery in the 13th century.

The monastery was converted to a villa in 1787. Over the years, it continued to be upgraded and in 1974 was purchased by the famous Italian explorer Count Guido Monzino.

We felt extremely blessed to be enjoying the beauty of this national treasure on such a nice and sunny morning.

The minimal crowds, combined with the warm and sunny Italian weather, made for a special morning in this beautiful place.

Count Monzino updated the interior with European furnishings, books, and artifacts from his explorations all over the world. 

A small museum houses an interesting collection of flags, artifacts, and carvings from Count Monzino’s adventures including an expedition to Mount Everest.

I found the large collection of intricate ivory carvings from the tusks of Narwal Whales to be particularly interesting.

We spent a few hours walking along the gardens and taking in the breath-taking lakeside views, before going for a walk along the surrounding woodland trails.

As we returned to the exit gate, we noticed a couple passing through the gate opposite us. They were both wearing STAR WARS shirts. I smiled, with a slight smirk, as we passed on by.

Episode Video

Next Blog Post

Join us as we continue our motorcycle travels through the Italian Alps. Our day goes from good to bad as we ride some of the most wonderful roads of Northern Italy, followed by me dropping my motorcycle off a steep embankment!

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22 Aug 2020

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