What to do
Take a boat trip on
Lago di Como
) to the picturesque villages of
. Tickets are cheap and can be purchased at the kiosk on the lake front
) to the tiny village of
perched on the hills overlooking Como. Piazza de Gasperi 4, tel: +39 031 303608. The
of funicolare is in Italian and English and has a timetable, prices, etc.
Centro Sportivo Casate
, via Virgilio 16, tel: +39 031 505118
Rent a bicycle and ride up the hill into
before descending to the beautiful Lake Lugano. Follow the lake north to the Swiss city of
. Head east from Lugano and back accross the border into Italy. When you reach Lake Como, turn south and return to the city of Como, completing the circle.
is a short distance away by train, bus or car.
Lago di Lugano
) are near to Lake Como and similarly spectacular.
Como is right on the border with
. As Switzerland is not part of the
, there is a possibility that you will be delayed by checks at the border, although these are infrequent and usually not rigorous. Remember your passport.
the area between Como and Milan, full of little lakes and villas of XVI, XVII and XVIII sec.
What to see
- Duomo (cathedral),
begun in 1398 on the site of the previous Romanesque church of Santa
Maria Maggiore. The façade was built in 1457, with the notable rose
window and two Renaissance statues of the famous Comaschi, Pliny the
Elder and Pliny the Younger. The interior is on the Latin cross plan,
with a nave and two aisles divided by pilasters. The transept wing and
the relative apses are from the 18th century. It include a carved 16th
century choir and tapestries on cartoons by Giuseppe Arcimboldi. The dome is by Filippo Juvarra. .
- San Fedele, a Romanesque church erected around 1120 over a
pre-existing central plan edifice. The contemporary bell tower was
rebuilt in modern times. The main feautre is the famous Door of St.
Fedele, carved with medieval decorations.
The church of San Fedele, apse area.
- Sant'Agostino, built by the Cistercians
in the early 14th century, but largely renovated in the 20th century.
The interior and the annexed cloister have frescoes from the 15th-17th
centuries, but most of the decoration comes from the Baroque era.
- The Romanesque church of Sant'Abbondio, consecrated in 1095 by Pope Urban II. The interior, with a nave and four aisles, contains beautiful paintings dating to the 11th century and frescoes from the 14th.
- San Carpoforo (11th century, apse and crypt from 12th century). According to tradition, it was founded re-using a former temple of the God Mercury to house the remains of St. Carpoforus and other local martyrs.
Public edifices and other sights
- Broletto (ancient Town Hall)
- Casa del Fascio, possibly Giuseppe Terragni's most famous work. It has been described as an early "landmark of modern European architecture".
- Monumento ai caduti (by Giuseppe Terragni)
- Teatro Sociale (by Giuseppe Cusi)
- Villa Olmo, built from 1797 in neoclassicist style by the Odescalchi family. It housed Napoleon Bonaparte, Ugo Foscolo, Metternich, Emperor Francis Ferdinand I, Giuseppe Garibaldi and other eminent figures. It is now seat of exhibitions.
- Villa Melzi (1808-1810), with a magnificent panorama over the Lake. It has a famous giardino all'Italiana. According to tradition, Franz Liszt composed here some of his most famous piano sonatas.
- Villa Carlotta (c. 1690). It has an English-style park, and a collection of marbles by Canova, reliefs by Thorvaldsen and others.
- Ancient walls (medieval)
- Castello Baradello, a small medieval castle.
- Musei Civici
- Museo archeologico "P. Giovio"
- Museo Storico
- Tempio Voltiano, a museum devoted ot Alessandro Volta's work.
- Museo della Seta
- Museo Liceo classico "A. Volta"
- Villa Olmo (expositions)
The centre of Como is rather compact and can be covered easily on foot.
The local public transport network counts 10 urban (within city limits) lines and 'extra-urban' (crossing city limits) (C) lines connecting Como with most of its province centers. They are provided by
: Chiasso FS - S.Fermo
: Lora - Grandate
: S.Giovanni FS - Camnago V.
: S.Giovanni FS - Civiglio
: Maslianico - Albate
: Sagnino - Lora
: S.Giovanni FS - Casnate
: P.za Cavour - Cimitero
: Albate - Navedano
: P.Chiasso - Bassone
Buying a ticket before boarding is better and cheaper. You can buy them at newstands, some bars and all Tabacchi. An urban ticket for 75 minutes costs € 1.25. More information can be found here.
Ferrovie Nord Milano
also provides other bus lines connecting Como to Varese in substitution of the original railway line that was dismissed in the 1960s.
) connects the center of Como with Brunate, a small village (1800 inhabitants) on a mountain at 715 meters above sea level. The journey takes about 7 minutes and the view is worth the trip: it can also be the starting point for a stroll on the mountains. Timetables can be found
The boats and 'aliscafi' of
Navigazione Lago di Como
connect the town with most of the villages sitting on the shores of the lake, the former are slower and right for sightseeing, the latter are faster and make less stops.
A taxi service is provided by the Comune di Como, local phone numbers are 031-2772, and 031-261515.
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