Villa Alceo was built in 1870 by the Canto Family, a noble family from Milan. The name Alceo, comes from a Greek lyrical poet, who was famous because of his poems were played by the Lira, a Greek instrument.
The Canto Family owned the Villa for almost 100 years. In fact, during that time the property was also named Villa Canto. The old generations from Viggiù still remember it this way.
From 1922 the Canto Family invited Benito Mussolini to Villa Alceo. The Dux was a very good friend of Alberto Canto. During that time the owners gave a Suite, now named Suite Alceo, to Mussolini, where you can still find the bed where he used to sleep. From 1922 to 1930 Mussolini and Alberto Canto were very close friends and the Villa hosted many official ceremonies and exhibitions.
After Marcello Canto’s death in 1970, the Villa was sold to the Speroni Family, a noble-class family from Milan who was coming during summer to spend their holidays. The Speroni family also owned a team of 20 husky dogs and finally moved to Greenland, more appropriate climate for the dogs.
The Villa was then sold separately: the ancient conciergerie was separated to the villa.
During the time Villa Alceo hosted different celebrities like the Hollywood actress Bai Ling and her ex fiancé Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Ben Johnson and many other important VIPs.
Villa Alceo features a collection of 70 Russian paintings which can be found in all the suites and living rooms.
In 2017 Villa Alceo was finally opened as boutique hotel by the couple Bruno & Julia.