Before being given the name Grumello, in the fifteenth century documents the estate was known as Castellazzo and was described as a rustic two-storey house, surrounded by a vineyard, a lawn and an orchard rich with walnuts, chestnuts and other plants.

Rebuilt by the banker Tommaso d’Adda in the second half of the sixteenth century as one of Como aristocrats’ first retreats on the lake shores, it is praised for its seclusion, and yet its proximity to the city.

The Villa was also owned by the Odescalchi family, then by the Giovio and, in the second half of the nineteenth century, by the Celesia family. Over the centuries, it has undergone major refurbishments: in the seventeen century by Pellegrini, then in the late eighteen century by Simone Cantoni, who made interventions on the facade, and finally, in 1870 by architect Nessi.

Illustrious figures, including Vincenzo Monti, Alessandro Volta and Ugo Foscolo, were hosted in its frescoed and stuccoed rooms. The frequent visits made by Foscolo to the Giovio family are testified by the bust built in the garden at the wish of Countess Julia Celesia.

In 1954, Countess Julia Celesia Cays of Caselette donated the Villa to Sant’Anna Hospital in Como and its artworks to the Museum of Como. The Villa became a retirement home and from 1970 through 2000 it was rented by the Ratti silk manufacturing company to host its style and design department. In 2006, after a few years of neglect, the Villa was restored and given a central role in the cultural life of the city by the newly-established Associazione Villa del Grumello.

In 1954, Countess Julia Celesia Cays of Caselette donated the Villa to Sant’Anna Hospital in Como and its artworks to the Museum of Como. The Villa became a retirement home and from 1970 through 2000 it was rented by the Ratti silk manufacturing company to host its style and design department. In 2006, after a few years of neglect, the Villa was restored and given a central role in the cultural life of the city by the newly-established Associazione Villa del Grumello.

The most recent restoration of Villa del Grumello was entrusted in 2006 to architects Paolo Brambilla, Elizabetta Orsoni and Corrado Tagliabue.

The estate was in a state of neglect and the many extensions and changes made over the years had overshadowed the clarity of its original layout. To draw up their architectural plan, the architects first made a functional, historical and physical assessment and then decided to remove and simplify, in order to enhance the clarity of the layout and provide the building with all the features that a modern public space must have.

To keep the layout as faithful as possible to the original, they tried to restore the relationship between external and internal views, and in so doing they created homogeneous horizontal levels, each with different functions to meet diverse purposes.

While apparently 'invisible', the work has radically transformed the Villa and has given it a very refined touch, which was the rationale behind this enthusiastic project.