Touristic pole and theme park
of "Piana di Brugo"
in Villa Guardia (CO) - Italy

What is this about ?

Overall view of the Masterplan, inserted on satellite picture.

The project eCOvillage comes from the planning chance to value "Piana di Brugo" in Villa Guardia. It is set as an innovative possibility to be an international lure for the whole Como area: a wide touristic pole and a permanent showcase of our industriousness and creativity.

The planning proposal deals with realizing an important botanic theme park, made of special big-dimensioned greenhouses containing portions of forests in natural conditions. Around the greenhouses plantations, water games and vegetal sculptures shape a green landscape. Near the park are situated shopping, accommodating, touristic and cultural buildings surrounded by green, as well as sport and free time areas.

A citadel of green and sport, of commerce and culture, where the themes of Expo 2015 (nutrition, agriculture, sustainability) can be carried on, on the territory of Como, in synergy with the touristic vocation of the area. The strategic closeness both with the border and the county seat (Milan) and the most important transport routes, confirms its uniqueness and economic appeal.

The designers have elaborated the idea on their own, financing it personally, but also comparing themselves with other international projects. They hope that will be possible to have a concrete synergy between political decision-making and local and international business world on such a project. In addition, it's to underline that the most successful result of the realization of the project will be the creation of job opportunities for a large number of companies and operators on our territory.

All the intellectual ideas belong to the design group above mentioned. Every license aspect must be verified. Any reproduction, even partial, of the illustrative material it's strictly forbidden.


Piana di Brugo is a wide area of 80 hectares (197 ac) situated on the southeast area of the municipal district. It is mainly grassland with soft grades, except for the presence of a pleasant hill called "del Pionino" that enhances it northerly. Both for extension and transport connections it is a unique example in the north Lombardy area. Indeed, it stands at the centre of a thick net of infrastructures and possibilities of touristic transfers.

Inquadramento territoriale dei collegamenti stradali, ferroviari e ciclabili.

Highways: at the core of the specific project area, an interchange between the highway A9 Milan-Chiasso and the Como bypass it's under construction. So that, from the international highway, will be possible to exit to "Piana di Brugo"!

Country border: the Swiss border is only 15 km (10 mi) far. It is directly trespassing from the highway or from many local roads.

Trunks roads: the city of Villa Guardia is directly crossed by the trunk road 342 Briantea that connects the city of Como to the one of Varese.

Railways: only 4 km (2.5 mi) far there is the Grandate railway station, situated on the Milan-Como line FNM. In the near Como, there is the international station of FS Milan-Bellinzona line. On this track, the project plans a railway junction.
Cycling lane: Brugo area is a transit point of an important European cycling route N-S, called "EuroVelo 5".

Urban zoning

The city of Villa Guardia disposes of a territorial administration plan, updated in 2014. This is an urban device known in Italy as "Piano di Governo del Territorio" (PGT). It classifies the project area as ATR/ZRA with a supra-municipal value and locates two main areas: the first one agrarian, the other residential. The area is subordinated to detail executive planning.

Urban setting of the area concerning the Masterplan.

Some numbers

The following graphic shows the division (in percentage) of the different areas of the park:

Forests and habitats inside the biomes


Didactic/educative spaces


Plantations and outside settings


Shopping centers/restaurants



Sports structures


Car parks


The team behind the idea.

The project here illustrated has been realized by the designing group Ratti Pierluigi (landscape architect), GH Architetti Associati (designers) and Civelli Davide (design, web and 3d) who elaborated it at their own care and expenses. The intellectual content and the compositions are under legal protection. Any reproduction, even partial, it's strictly forbidden.


  • Biome
    Vegetation of the
    Tropical forest
  • Biome 2,
    Veg. of the
    Mediterranean climate
  • Biome
    Vegetation of the
    Desert climate
  • Biomes,
    Orchids and
  • Biomes,
    Vegetation of the
    aquatic gardens

Let's talk about


What is the aim of eCOvillage ?

Our project starts as an international touristic attraction, but the numerous values that it contains make it a unique example on the Italian territory.

The eCOvillage Masterplan is to represent a real green and sport dedicated Citadel. It is thought above all to emotion, entertain but mostly to make aware and educate visitors, presents and futures, about the main current themes such as sustainability, nutrition and advanced technological research connected to these branches.
This way, the consumers will be able to know, not only the plantation productive process typical of distant countries, but also to re-discover the agriculture closest to us, often unfairly forgotten. In the shopping areas, the visitors could also find a large number of products that are local, being directly farmed and processed in the Brugo area.

Finally, the visitors could get in touch with many excellences belonging to the territory of Como, often little known, that will be hosted in one of the pavilions of the Citadel. These are represented by touristic realities, innovative and technological start-ups, cultural and academic associations, all in close relationship with the fundamental idea of our project: to act together for the common good and the safeguard of our planet.

The project area considers many possibilities to do sport, both amateurish (walking in the green or doing the suggestive Kneipp path that goes up the artificial hill next to the Citadel) and professional level (doing one of the numerous disciplines such as golf, bike cross, tennis, basket, archery, five-aside football and so on). This always surrounded by green fields and woods, already existing in the area or re-created by the designers to further increase the naturalistic mark of the project.

The real localism !

It is more and more frequent to talk about localism, to underline that a food is produced by farm close on the territory.

Indeed, in the large area of 80 hectares (197 ac) of the eCOvillage park, will find their space extended plantations for both didactic and productive aims. Therefore, will be possible to sell the products in the structures inside the Botanic Park and the Citadel. At the same time, they will show to the visitors the farming, harvesting and packing process.
It has been thought also to reintroduce the productive cycle of silk, for didactic purposes, through plantation of trees such as the mulberry. It represents a real historical value on the territory of Como.

There is also the willing to restart other farming that unfortunately are almost disappeared, typical of the territory, such as grapevine and olive tree.

The strong ideas that sustain the Masterplan, nutrition and sustainability will allow the involvement of cultural excellences of the territory. For example, the department of Agriculture and Nutrition, or the large didactic realities and business in botanical and agricultural fields already existing in Lombardy.

Experimental values of the project

T he group is comparing itself with some national and international realities interested in bringing to "Piana di Brugo" their technological excellences, concerning the research and development both in environment and sustainability profiles.
It is demonstrated by the chance to host an international project aimed to produce Biodiesel originated from mosses, farmed in cylinders of water placed inside low visual profile greenhouses.

Example pictures of existing structures for mosses' Biodiesel production.

Another value under investigation is the one to use the deep geothermal to take advantage from geothermal energy, heat coming from the core of the Earth, passing through the mantle to the surface. This energy can be used both for heating purposes, in the big biospheres, and to produce electric energy to employ in the Citadel.
For the group another international overriding project to examine in the area of Brugo is the chance to produce electric energy from the photosynthesis of plants.
To produce energy from plantations, according to the research project, it is necessary to connect electrodes close to plants' roots. Thanks to the photosynthesis process, most of the nutritive substances produced pass from the roots to the soil, where organic material becomes nutrition for microorganisms who live inside the soil, and who are able to release electrons as byproduct of their own normal activity. The use of special machinery that allows the connection of electrodes close to the plants' roots would permit to gather useful energy and to transform it into electricity. The life of the plants is not obstructed in any way by this process. Actually plants would continue to grow normally even with the presence of the electrodes and they would represent a constant source of energy, day and night.

In Italy and abroad it is being experimented the chance to extract fiber from a particular type of nettle, to produce a special yam to use in textile field. The designing reality of our Masterplan seems, at the matter of facts, ideal to start also the experimentation that is strongly connected with the vocation of the whole territory of Como toward the world of the textile production.


that inspired us

Ideas from the world!

There aren't many projects in the world to refer to for the level we are aiming to reach. Among these, we have selected some to get some in-depth ideas.

The "Eden Project", that we personally visited in more than one occasion, is a touristic complex in Cornwall, South-West of United Kingdom, located 2 km (1,2 mi) from the town of St Blazey and 5 km (3 mi) from St Austell, and about six hours car far from London. Obtained from the inner space of a reclaimed kaolinite pit, today it hosts two of the biggest biospheres in the world. Inside the biospheres can be found more than 100,000 plants coming from all over the world. These are inserted in the two dome structures, made of steel and plastic that allow within emulating two very common biomes: the Mediterranean and the tropical, through a complex air-conditioning system and heat control. The structures of the park are mainly: Rainforest Biome, placed in the largest semi-sphere in the north area of the complex; and the Mediterranean Biome, placed in the second biosphere, a little more south. In addition, you can find the Garden that is a huge outdoor green area, which hosts about 1,890 species of plants and many itinerant paths, in 13 hectares (32 ac). The English complex registered more than 14,000,000 visitors in ten years of activity.

The "King Abdullah International Gardens" in Saudi Arabia is under construction. It represents maybe the most ambitious project of terraforming in a desert area of the world.

The "Singapore Botanic Garden" is a consolidate reality that, taking examples from the traditional local botanic heritage, developed itself during the years, enriching more and more with artistic and landscaping virtues of absolute value.

The Korean "Ecorium" has been launched recently. It offers the most advanced solutions of building technology and a great elegance in the environment integration.

  • Main structures assigned to Tropical and Mediterranean biomes.

    The Eden Project - Cornwall UK

    The Eden Project in Cornwall, often named the eighth wonder of the World, it is made of a series of bubbles called biomes, deepened in a pit surrounded by breathtaking landscapes.

  • Technical draws of King Abdullah Gardens in Saudi Arabia.

    Riyadh International Gardens

    The King Abdullah Gardens in Saudi Arabia has been designed to make humanity understand the process and consequences on climatic changes.

  • Project rendering and real photo of Ecorium, in South Korea.

    Ecorium - South Korea

    It includes a 33,000 m² (8.1 ac) an extended area of wild plants and one of wet-zones. At the center of the park, there is a big system of wedge-shaped greenhouses.

  • Photographs of Singapore Botanic Gardens.

    Singapore Botanic Garden

    The big botanic garden of 101 hectares (249 ac), also contains a huge greenhouse building. The whole complex will include 220 thousands plants coming from every corner of the world.

  • Photographs of Royal Botanic Kew Gardens in London.

    Royal Botanic Kew Gardens London

    The gardens, UNESCO World Heritage, host six wonderful greenhouses and an extraordinary collection of plants coming from all over the world, and more than 14,000 trees.

  • Photographs of MuSe, Museum of Natural Science in Trento.

    MuSe - Trento

    From the innovative architectures by Renzo Piano, it is a space where parents and children could experience together and discover the environment in an unusual and creative way.



Would you like to know the project details?

785,000m² (194 ac) of total area

of which 320,000m² (79 ac) only of botanic theme park!

10 sport infrastructures
(tennis, basket, skate park, archery, bike cross, five-a-side football and a bike-pedestrian path)

2,700 car parks

50,000 m² (12.3 ac) of touristic, shopping, educative, and scientific-didactic areas.

These are the numbers of our Masterplan.

Discover the

Masterplan details

I like it! I want to see the Botanic Park map

I like it! I want to see the Touristic Pole map

I like it! I want to see the Sport & Accomodation map

A unique


Location of the park on national scale.

Italy, chest of the most important touristic and cultural heritage in the world. Lombardy, region of work and world capital for themes of nutrition and environment sustainability with Expo 2015. Como, province of border with Swiss, Lake and land of excellence, natural meeting point between Mediterranean and Europe. These are the coordinates where the Brugo area in Villa Guardia is situated, a complex of areas unique for extension, position, and performing value.

Villa Guardia is an industrious city of 7,500 inhabitants. It's elevated 350 m.a.s.l. (1,140 ft) and it's few minutes far from Como, the Swiss border, the brand new provincial Hospital of S. Anna and from the railway line Milan-Como. On its territory, the highway interchange between the highway A9 Milan-Chiasso and the Como bypass, it's under construction. Villa Guardia belongs to the supra-municipal interest local park "Sorgenti del Lura" (Lura river' sources). It is crossed, starting exactly from the project area, by the regional greenway that trace the disused railway Como-Varese, connection knot with a bicycle path, internationally known as "pilgrim's road".

Image of the first lake basin and the city of Como.

Como Lake is one of the most suggestive and beautiful lakes in the world. Its reputation of "little piece of paradise borrowed to Como's inhabitants" fascinates the numerous tourists that come from all over the world. Laurel and Olive Tree grow there, its gardens host palms and tropical plants and nursery plantations prosper. The perfect weather conditions allow the growth of a large number of nautical activities. This field boasts world excellence brands and the thriving of many sports such as sailing, surf, waterskiing; as well as golf, practiced in exclusive and prestigious clubs, horseback riding, road-bicycle or mountain-bike. The area, for its position on the great ways of connection between central Europe and the Mediterranean, has always been affected by an intense passage flow.
The best way to discover the Lake is the one to board on the modern ferries of "Navigazione Laghi", or on the aircrafts of one of the most ancient European air club, Como's Aero Club, to admire the unique landscapes and secret angles of land that are often impossible to see from the road. Today tourism has become a fundamental part of Como's economy. In the last few years, many new touristic buildings rose; other, rich of history and tradition, have been restored and enlarged, to respond the needs of a sophisticate, modern and global-level tourism. It's not to forget that two thirds of the tourists who arrive on the Lake are foreigners.


    Piana di Brugo's Biopark is situated in a strategic position thanks to the numerous main routes which surround him.

    Highway A9 Lainate-Como-Chiasso branches off from highway A8, around Lainate (MI) and ends to the Country border with Swiss, in Maslianico (CO). This important highway, counts about 240,000 effective daily vehicles, with high peaks during summer months, thanks to the large number of tourists travelling to the centre/south Italy. The big greenhouses expected in the Biopark, will be clearly visible from everyone who is going to use this important highway branch.
    Besides, the future Como's bypass (in advanced level of construction) will bring a consistent flow of transport right next to the "Piana di Brugo", with a direct exit junction to the Piana. Also in this case, the futuristic structures of the Biopark will be clearly visible from those using the road.

    Map of connectionsHighway details.

    See details

    The railway track Milan-Como-Chiasso is double-railed and represents the fastest connection between Milan, Swiss and Northern Europe.
    From this track, trains from or to Zurich, Stuttgart, Cologne, Dortmund or Basel, Strasburg, Brussels pass every day.

    The line also crosses the high-density inhabited area of north Milan hinterland. For this reason it is crossed not only by the long-way traffic, but also to metropolitan and regional trains, that every day transport thousands of commuters.
    Grandate's railway station is just few hundreds meters far from the Biopark area. The group is supposing to restore the old rail that, starting from the station, passes next to the Brugo area, through direct connection shuttles.

    Map of connectionsRailway details.

    See details

    The area around the Biopark is full of international airports.

    Malpensa airport works through two calls for passengers and one for goods: -Milan Malpensa 1, dedicated to business and leisure customers on national, international and intercontinental routes, with areas dedicated to line vectors and charters; -Milan Malpensa 2, dedicated to low-cost high category air traffic.
    Milan Linate is the European airport closest to the city centre, to which it is connected by the urban transport system. The airport is dedicated to frequent flyer customers, on national and international routes, intra UE with a special appeal.
    Not to forget the international airport of Lugano Agno. It is situated in a strategic position, only 6 km (3.73 mi) far from Lugano city centre and 30 km (18.64 mi) far from the Italian border. Lugano's airport sets the standards of contemporary mobility concept. It guarantees the transport of about 200 thousands passengers a year. The daily connections of Darwin Airlines and Swiss with the city of Geneva, Rome, Zurich and the code shares with Star Alliance and Alitalia guarantee a large number of fast and efficient connections with Europe and the rest of the world.

    Map of connectionsAirport details.

    See details

    "Piana di Brugo" area is crossed by an important project of bicycle and pedestrian greenway of European level, which is under construction.
    the bicycle path "EuroVelo5" connects London to the south of Italy, ending in Brindisi after 2900 km (1800 mi).

    It represents an important N-S route that crosses many interesting cities in the heart of Europe.
    It is no coincidence that this path mostly traces the Via Francigena, used for centuries by European pilgrims to reach Rome.

    It passes trough six countries: United Kingdom 130 km (80 mi); France 145 km (90); Belgium 260 km(161 mi); Luxemburg 75 km (46 mi); France again, 340 km (211 mi); Swiss 340 km (211 mi); and Italy 1,500 km (932 mi).

    The Italian way crosses the territory of Como partly using the old disused railway Como-Varese, which is tangential to the Brugo area.

    Map of connectionsBicycle-pedestrian details.

    See details

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Email: Errepi Landscaping: Pierluigi Ratti - Paesaggista Gh Architetti - Progettisti Davide Civelli - 3D & Comunicazione

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