Como, The Largest of the Lake Como Towns, Has Plenty to Offer Visitors:
After a pleasurable cruise on Lake Como we returned to Como town which lies on the southern tip of the left arm of the wishbone-shaped lake. Como is a lakeside town and leisure boats and hydrofoils land conveniently just in front of the large and modern Piazza Cavour. All we had to do was cross the street and we were in Piazza Cavour which itself is quite plain, and its main attribute appears to be the breathtaking lakeside views it offers. There are cafes and restaurants on two sides of the square where one can have a break and enjoy the lake views. Como was our lunch stop but to see the town we sacrificed lunch.
Como town is the largest of the Lake Como towns and being close to Milan and the Swiss border, it attracts some wealthy visitors. Lake Como itself is famous for its beautiful and magnificent villas, home to many wealthy Milanese industrialists, financiers, silk tycoons, those involved in the fashion industry and famous opera and movie stars. It’s not surprising then that Como town has all the trappings to cater for the region’s wealthy residents and those who come to play here.
Exploring Como Town
A short walk down away from the waterfront, down Via Caio Secondo Plinio, we arrived at the Duomo, one of the most impressive structures in town. Flanking the entrance of this richly decorated Gothic-Renaissance cathedral are the statues of Pliny the Younger and Pliny the Elder who are some of the notable people born in Como. Inside this beautiful 14th century church are many interesting reliefs, tapestries, paintings and tombs from the 15th and 16th century. Whereas there are much grander cathedrals in many of the main Italian cities, Como Cathedral was enjoyable to visit as it was less crowded.
Just next to the Duomo are the “Broletto” Como’s charming town hall with its white, pink and grey stripes and the towering Porta Torre, once the main entrance to the medieval city. Closeby is the Teatro Sociale, Como’s historic opera house.
With not much time on our hands, we raced around the network of streets and little squares which were filled with tempting shops and cafes. We only saw a fraction of Como’s attractions, but we did at least manage to stop at a lakeside cafe for a cup of coffee and a pastry and to enjoy one last look at the beautiful lake views that Como offers.
Other Things to See and Do in Como
If you have time in Como, there are many other interesting things to see and do, including:
- A visit to the Museo Didattico della Seta on Via Castelnuovo, 9 – Como was once known as the “City of Silk” and at the silk museum, you can find out more about the city’s glorious past as a silk production centre. Silk is still produced here for the Milan fashion industry.
- Taking a ride on the funicular (Piazza De Gasperi 4) up to the town of Brunate almost 800 metres above sea level. Brunate overlooks the city of Como and from this natural balcony, one can enjoy the panoramic views of Como city, Lake Como and its environs. From Brunate you can also walk to the Volta Lighthouse for great views of the Lake.
- A stroll along the waterfront to the Tempio Voltiano (Volta Temple) with its exhibition about Volta (inventor of the electric battery) and the War Memorial next to it. Along the way, you’ll see some of the magnificent Lake Como villas.
Where to Stay in Como
Lakeside hotels with views of Lake Como include the Hotel Metropole Suisse and the Hotel Barchetta Excelsior on Piazza Cavour, and the Albergo Terminus and Palace Hotel & Centro Congressi on Lungo Lario Trieste. For the complete list of Como hotels, see Here.