Do you know that Como is the capital city of silk? Shopping is a must here!
With its centre still surrounded by medieval city walls, its narrow streets flanked by ancient buildings, Como is a jewel, and can be easily reached either from Milan – being only 50 km far away. i.e. 1 hour drive – or from any of the cities in Lombardy, so it can be visited also with a day trip, even if you are not staying here.
Our tour starts from the Cavour square, in front of the lake, the old harbour of Como until the 19th century. From here we walk to the Duomo, i.e. the Cathedral, built in about 350 years, on the site of a previous romanic church. Its façade shows wonderful decorations and sculptures in both Gothic and Renaissance style, among them the big statues of the two Plini, the younger and the elder, that flank the main entrance. The interior houses precious masterpieces of the so-called Campionese school as well as paintings from the Renaissance, sculptures, the banner of Saint Abbondio, the patron of Como, and both Italian and Flemish tapestries. Next to the church stands the so-called Broletto, i.e. the old medieval City Hall, built in the 14th century, and later on reduced to allow the construction of the cathedral, now it’s used for cultural events. Going around the Duomo, we can admire its beautiful cupola, a major project of the Sicilian architect Filippo Juvarra, as well as the Social Theatre, i.e. Teatro Sociale, with its neoclassical façade, and one of the most important rationalist buildings in Italy, the Casa del Fascio, by the renowned architect Giuseppe Terragni.
We continue our walking tour in the narrow streets of the city centre, flanked by ancient buildings, to reach the old medieval city walls and the Porta Torre, an access gate in the past, near which stand some roman columns sustaining the entrance to the baroque church of Santa Cecilia.
We then head to the old Market Square, i.e. Piazza Mercato del Grano, where we can admire two ancient buildings dating back to the 15th century, as well as the church of San Fedele, among the most important ones in Como, started in the 11th century but renovated different times, which houses medieval frescoes as well as lots of baroque decorations.
Last but not least, before reaching the lake shore, we stop in front of the statue of Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), the great scientist and inventor of the electrical battery, born in Como, he lived and worked all his life here. In 1927 the city dedicated him the so-called Volta Temple, a kind of Pantheon that houses a museum with his inventions, experiments and objects.
In 2015, Daniel Liebeskind made an impressive sculpture, called “Life Electric”, located in the harbour, and reached by a boardwalk.
Last but not least we can walk to the amazing Villa Olmo, built in the 18th century, where we can enjoy the view of the first basin of the lake, with its elegant residences and villas, its stunning landscape, its particular shape. This is also a great spot to admire the funicolar, opened in 1895, that reach the nice tiny village of Brunate, on the top of the hill in front of the villa, where people love to go either for hiking, or for a nice walk, or just to enojoy the wonderful panorama. Hikers will love to go to the Volta Lighthouse, for even a better view of the surrounding area.
Are you staying in Como and you want to discover more of the city with a professional guide? Or would you like to organize an excursion to Como from Milan or any of the cities nearby? Contact us to book this itinerary or a tailor-made tour!