The thirst for knowledge is never satisfied on the banks of one of the world’s most beautiful lakes with all its interesting attractions. Como has so many different buildings to visit: the Cathedral Square and the Broletto (the ancient municipal building), the Basilicas of Sant’Abbondio and San Fedele, the Volta Temple and the rationalist buildings. That’s in addition to the numerous and unmissable villages that surround the Lario (the local name for Lake Como) and that provide a backdrop to a breathtaking panorama.
Como was once an important Roman colony. Its origins can be traced as far back as the Bronze Age and it was rebuilt in the year 89 BC, according to the plans for a castrum, which are still clearly visible, with the classical shape of the Roman encampment. It is also very closely entwined with the history of weaving. Under the dominion of the State of Milan, and thanks to the development of wool and silk processing, the city experienced a period of great splendour. It’s a history that became intertwined in the 15th century, under the leadership of Ludovico Sforza, and that continues on to this day. It is possible to visit the city’s Museo Didattico della Seta (Educational Silk Museum).
On the Lario, the name given to Lake Como, there are plenty of opportunities for taking a boat or hydrofoil and visiting all the most beautiful local villages that are home to truly unique examples of stunning architecture and landscape features. There’s Bellagio, with its Melzi and Serbelloni villas and Varenna with the villas of Monastero and Menaggio are all areas that are not to be missed and they can be reached on the water. Absolutely worth a visit is Tremezzo, a historical holiday resort frequented by such famous names as Giuseppe Verdi and the British Monarch, Queen Victoria. It is here that is possible to take in Villa Carlotta with Canova’s masterpieces.
Visiting buildings dating from the Roman era to the Volta Temple will make a visit to Como truly fabulous. An absolute must is Cathedral Square from where it is possible to observe the variety of periods and styles visible on the building itself; from the late Gothic façade to the renaissance lines of the area of the apse, and on to the eighteenth-century Baroque style cupola. Within its neoclassical structure, the Volta Temple contains relics, paintings and publications about Como’s famous physicist. A neoclassicism that is also to be found in Villa Olmo, a historic noble residence.
Como offers the best of itself during the spring and summer months, when the sun breaks through and a light breeze helps make the days cooler. This is also when some of the most important cultural events take place. There’s the Lake Como Film Festival in July which involves some of the city’s most picturesque locations, and the Festival Como Città della Musica (Como City of Music Festival), which, during the spring and summer period, fills the streets with musical sounds. Something else not to be missed are some notable sporting activities on the water. Extremely popular on the Lake are sailing and wind surfing, as well as the more modern sport of kite surfing, all of which benefit from the wind that blows constantly across the surface of this large expanse of water.