For more than one century it has been the "Grand Hotel Villa d'Este", one of the most ancient and prestigious hotels in the world.
In 1557 Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio entrusted the erection of a "great villa" to a famous architect - it could have been the “Pellegrini”. After some transfers, Marquis Bartolomeo Calderara and his wife Maria Vittoria entered into possession of the villa in 1784. The adiustement of the park, the groups of statues and the famous Hercules are due just to Maria Vittoria Calderara. This lady, left a widow, married General Domenica Pino, one of the most important Napoleon I's Staff.
In 1815 Countess Pino sold the Villa "il Gàrrovo " to Princess Caroline of Wales, the English king. to-be's wife. This lady called her new house "Viìla d'Este” because she herself, like her husband, descended from a distant d'Este. In 1833 Villa d'Este was transferred to Baron Ippolito Ciani. He had a building in Moorish style erected towards the shore and called it "Reine d’Angleterre" in memory of the Princess of[ Wales, who never became queen.
Later on, Baron Ciani's heirs decided to transform this wonderful villa into the present Grand Hotel.