For those fatigued by the hordes populating the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, here’s a new goal: The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, a multi-day show and promenade held annually on the shores of Lake Como, Italy.
The Villa d’Este concours started as a way for automakers to show new cars to prospective buyers and to celebrate winning racecars in town from Milan and a Munich. Now it is perhaps the most stunningly arranged car show in the world, with the historic Grand Hotel Villa d’Este mansion as its backdrop, and prices for the value of most of the cars on display nearing or surpassing $1 million each. And that tally excludes the few lucky one-of-one modern creations that earned the right to be parked in such rarefied air as well. Those included the $12.5 million Bugatti La Voiture Noire and the priceless BMW Garmisch, which was created as an homage after a lost BMW concept car from 1970. Tickets for Saturday’s private viewing event starting at Euro 490 ($550) per person.
The cars were displayed over the course three days on the lawn of the Villa d’Este and the Villa Erba estate grounds. Guests from France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, England, South Africa, Japan and beyond wore summer suits with straw boaters and floral dresses with wedged heels while they took photos of the cars and sipped champagne.
Late afternoon rains slowed some of the ladies in the highest heels, but not our photographer. Here is a look at the best of what we saw.