Welcome to Como, a city of 80.000 inhabitants situated at the extreme point of the west branch of the lake and is a centre of historical, artistic and cultural importance, combined with important industrial and commercial activity as well as a beautiful lakefront.
The hills surrounding the current location of Como were inhabited since prehistoric times and they represented the first centre that was then moved to its current location by order of Julius Caesar. Como has always been an important town in Lombardy and for many centuries it competed with Milan.
In the late Middle Ages, the city developed little suburbs all with an identity and characteristics of their own, along with several defensive towers around the city limits, promoted by Barbarossa. Today these little suburbs are part of the city and Como’s history is still visible thanks to all the antique monuments along the roads.
From the 16th century Como was submitted of Spanish rule and then was handed over to the Austrians (18th century). These are the years of Alessandro Volta, of the sumptuous villas, of the industry development and of the Social Theatre.
While visiting the Museo Civico Archeologico “Giovio” you can have an idea of how Como was in the prehistory, while structure of the city centre dates back to the Roman Age. The three towers at south, the Roman churches and the magnificent Cathedral, completed in 1740, all show Como’s medieval past.
In the area of Borgo Vico, at west, you can visit the splendid villas and walking on the lakefront, towards the centre, you can see Volta’s temple (Tempio Voltiano) and piazza Cavour, where the trading port was once located.
Como – What to see
The cathedral, that represents a religious, civil centre in the heart of the town, is one of the few buildings in Gothic style (along with the church of Sant’Agostino). Its construction started in 1396, it was projected by Lorenzo degli Spalti, for Gian Galeazzo Visconti and it was finished only in 1740 with the dome of Filippo Juvara.
The façade is enriched by sculptures by Rodari, while the interior with its Latin cross shape preserves 16th and 17th century tapestries from Ferrara, Firenze and Anversa, and floor half in black marble from Varenna and half from white marble from Musso.
The church of San Carpoforo rises in an isolated position, at the foot of the Baradello and preserves the apse and the bell tower dated back to the 12th century.Sant’Abbondio, erected in 1100 has two bell towers, a façade with the apse decorated with frescoes and a sculptured portal.
San Fedele enters among the most interesting churches. It was built adding a longitudinal nave to an early Christian church. It was finished in 1914 while a big part of the complex was restored in the Renaissance.
The old city centre is surrounded by walls built by Federico I di Svevia, il Barbarossa in the 12th century after defeating Milan. Still today you can visit the three towers: Torre di Porta Nuova at west, Torre San Vitale at east and Porta Torre in the middle, that is 40m high.
There are many interesting sites to visit while you walk along the lakefront. Volta’s Temple (Il tempio Voltiano), erected in 1927, celebrates the first 100 years from Alessandro Volta’s death, with many remembrances and testimonials.
The animated Piazza Cavour is the symbol of Como’s Risorgimento, from where you can enjoy a beautiful view and where in the rainy season it’s covered with water coming from the lake.
The nicest villas of Como are situated in Borgo Vico, all built in the 18th century: Villa Saporiti, Villa Gallia, Villa Salazar and the majestic Villa Olmo.
Como – Cuisine and Restaurants
Here listed are some good restaurants in Como and nearby:
Theoria – Ristorante i Tigli in Theoria
Via Aurelio Bianchi Giovini, 41 – 22100 Como
Tel. +39 031 305272
The eating experience at I Tigli in Theoria restaurant-one Michelin* star- is really fascinating, with its delicate and sophisticated tasting paths and refined food, in a charming location arising love for the culinary art.
Closed on Mondays.
La Vita è Bella
Piazza Domenico Croggi, 4 – 2210 Como
Tel. +39 031 302667
Closed on Mondays.
The Market Place Restaurant
Via Borsieri, 21, 22100 Como
Tel. +39 031270712
Small restaurant with 25 seats run by Chef Patron David Maci, who, after many experiences in starred restaurants in Europe, since October 2010 gladdens its guests with Mediterranean cuisine revisited and a vast variety of modern and innovative.
Via Borsieri 23, 22100 Como
Tel. 39 031 489 3841
Wine tasting and appetizers. Internet FREE.
Via Luigi Cadorna 26 – 22100 Como
Tel. +39 031 242777
You can find traditional local dishes suitablealso for those suffering from food allergies and intolerances.
Closed on Sundays.
Via Juvara, 14 – 22100 Como
Tel. +39 031 260193
An oasis of peace and tranquility where a refined cuisine blends deliciously with the kind attention of their staff. Recommended only for true gourmets and connoisseurs of fresh fish (not farmed!).
Closed on Sundays.
Via Vitani, 3 – 22100 Como
Tel. +39 031 273028
Run by Lepri Family for the last 10 years, in a warm and welcoming atmosphere, you can taste typical Tuscan dishes such as: vaurious meats, mixed crostini, good selection of cheese, soups like ribollita or pearl barley soup, porcini mushrooms, truffles, seasonal products. Up to the Fiorentina steak of Chianina Beef meat, homemade desserts and a fine selection of wines.
Closed on Mondays.
Como – How to get there
From the three Milanese air Terminals (Malpensa, Linate or Orio al Serio) you have to make your way to the centre of Milan (Central Station or Cadorna) and from here you have to get the train for Como. With the Malpensa Express it is preferable to get off in Saronno and then get the train of Ferrovie Nord to Como. From Malpensa, it is also possible to get to Como by bus (line n250) in only an hour.
From the centre of Milan take the train (Ferrovie dello Stato) that leaves from Milan Central Station or the train of Ferrovie Nord from Milano Cadorna-Saronno to Como.
From Milan, take the motorway A9 and in less than an hour you are in Como (50km). As an alternative you can take the road Milan- Meda and then follow the signs for Como.