For a weekend in May, we decided to visit the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este car show. This is a free event to visit for the Saturday, with Sunday as the paid day. Despite the clouds and misty rain, we still visited the event on Lake Como.
The name, which translates to ‘Competition of Elegance of Villa d’Este’ has been held at Villa d’Este since 2011. The event is organised with the Villa d’Este hotel and the BMW group together.
The event is for visitors to admire and see in person around fifty to sixty cars, all organised in different categories at the event (shared below). BMW also take advantage of the show by also hosting and advertising their latest car at the event. For 2023, this was a new BMW Touring Coupé.
Villa d’Este, Cernobbio
The Villa d’Este is not just for the event, but a 5 star hotel on the lakeside of Lake Como. Located in Northern Italy, this villa has 25-acre of land.
As a hotel, prices range around €1000 EUR ($1200) a night and top suites averaging €3500 EUR ($4200) per night. So it’s for those who a looking for a night of luxury in the region.
In 2014 the Villa d’Este was listed as the 2nd best resort in Europe by Travel + Leisure magazine.
Address: Via Regina, 40 22012 Cernobbio (Lake Como) Italy
The Concorso D’Eleganza Villa d’Este a yearly event, which we visited for the first time in May 2023.
We didn’t have the best weather for visiting, with misty rain and clouds all day expected. We arrived around 11:30am and the dedicated visitor parking areas were already completely full up for visitors who had arrived earlier. We had expected this but had luckily found free parking nearby from the event and had to walk only 10mins to the entrance.
At the entrance there were quite a lot of people. We already had our tickets so we went straight though to the online ticket entrance, whereas others had to queue. It seems a lot of tourists were also visiting from Como directly for their day in the city.
Once in the event, you can freely walk around the Villa d’Este grounds. The cars for 2023 were set up in dedicated sections, such as:
- Mini Exhibition
- Historic Car Exhibition
- 100 years Le Mans Exhibition
- RM Sotherby’s Exhibition
- Concept cars
- Prototypes Exhibition
There was also a small presentation during our visit where they started up a Sauber Mercedes C9 and showed off the sound. Pretty impressive to hear as well as see the flames come out of the exhaust a few times!
For the rest of the event there are food stands, a kids area, a shop, a live painting event of cars and more. It’s best to take cash with you, as the food stands mostly accepted this. It wasn’t too costly either, such as an Aperol spritz for 6 EUR, fries for 3.50 EUR and an espresso for 1 EUR.
We enjoyed our visit to the Concorso D’Eleganza Villa d’Este and would definitely like to visit again next year. Let’s just hope next year is more sunny!
- Buy your ticket in advance online
- Wear appropriate shoes, since half the event is located on the grass
- Bring cash (EUR)
For more Italian Content, check here:
Our Experience on The Simplon Car Train
The Centovalli Railway Scenic Panoramic Train Journey