While we were traveling through Italy, our first stop was Milan, after two days there and before our next destination Lugano in Switzerland we decided to stop by in Como, see that beautiful little city and the Lake that we heard about.
I’m gonna share with you what I had learned about it. We had time just to take a walk and quick coffee because we our main point was to reach Lugano in Switzerland. So, Lake Como was only quick stop, like I already mentioned.
What did I learn about it in few hours, you can read in continuation.
Lake Como (Lago di Como) is a lake of galcial origin in Lombardy, Italy. It’s third largest lake in Italy – after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore, it’s also one of the deepest lakes in Europe.
Como may seem disappointingly urban and sprawling compared with the smaller and prettier Lake Como resorts. But the town’s setting, surrounded by green hills, with the end of the lake opening up as a pretty villa-rimmed basin just yards from the historic centre. It’s impressive and once you set foot within the square formed by the old town walls, Como’s charms become more apparent. The old town, is a typical Italian network of pavement cafes, little squares and picturesque lanes, some bustling with shops, others empty and peaceful. Como is definitely much livelier and more ‘real’ than the tourist-dominated villages around Lake Como. It has been a successful town since Roman times and has a sense of purpose independent of tourism.
The lake’s name in Latin is Larius, but this name is rarely used. It’s usually called Lago di Como (literally “lake of Como”). In guidebooks the lake may be variously referred to as Lake Como, Lake of Como, or Como Lake. It’s name comes from the city of Como, known to the Romans as Comum.
While the town of Como is referred to as Como, the lake is never referred to solely by this name.
SIGHTS AND ATTRACTIONS
The most important sight in town is the cathedral, the Duomo. This imposing church was built over a period of several centuries, from 1396-1740, and shows a range of influences, chiefly Renaissance and Gothic. The facade dates from the fifteenth century, while the dome was designed by Filippo Juvarra in the eighteenth century. Alongside the Duomo is the Broletto, Como’s thirteenth-century striped-marble town hall.
Within the old town centre is another important church, the Basilica di San Fedele, which dates from the tenth century (though it has been rebuilt). The visitor exploring the town will come across various picturesque sights, including the imposing Porta Vittoria, a tall stone gateway defending the old town walls, narrow arcaded lanes, and tower-houses which are the legacy of the warring Middle Ages.
Como is very proud of it’s famous sons. Two famous Romans, writers Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger, were born here and are commemorated with statues on the Duomo. Alessandro Volta, electricity pioneer is recorded with a piazza and a ‘temple’, the Tempio Voltiano, containing his equipment. Como is also proud of twentieth-century architect Giuseppe Terragni, who worked during the Fascist era, but died young. Various buildings designed by Terragni can be seen around Como – one of the most striking is his Casa del Fascio, now called Palazzo Terragni (pictured), just over a level crossing from the Duomo.
By the lakeside, the narrow lanes of the historic centre give way to open spaces and lake views. Piazza Cavour is a large square lined with souvenir shops and pavement cafes, facing the waterfront and close to the ferry jetties. Various rather faded hotels look over the water and remind the visitor of the grand heyday of lake tourism.
Villa Olmo is one of the grandest buildings on Como’s waterfront; a grand-fronted villa dating from the end of the 18th century. Nowadays it houses exhibitions and events. The gardens of the villa are open to the public. Como’s football stadium is also on the shore of the lake, and must be one of the most picturesquely-sited in Italy.
Como was an important town in the silk trade, and around the lake you’ll still find shops selling high-quality Como silks. There is a museum dedicated to silk, the Museo della Seta, located just outside the centre of town. Other museums in Como include the Pinacoteca Civica, the town’s art gallery, an archaeological museum and a museum of the Risorgimento.
* Museums are typically closed on Mondays and for a couple of hours in the middle of the day.
I hope you had a wonderful time with us walking around Lake Como. We had it for sure! 🙂
Until some new adventures around Europe stay safe and travel more! I hope I’ll bring you some new adventures beside Europe in some near future! 🙂