Como is both the biggest city and the capital of the province of the same name in the Italian region of Lombardy. Thanks to Lake Como, it is one of the main tourist destinations of the region. Architectural and artistic highlights are the Cathedral and the Palazzo del Broletto.
Como travel guide
Tourist information: There are three Tourist Info Points. The first one is in the San Giovanni train station (from 09:00 till 17:00), the second one on the corner of the Via Albertolli and the Via Gobetti (from 09:00 till 18:00), and the third one in the Via Pretorio (Mondays to Fridays from 10:00 till 13:00 and from 14:00 till 19:00, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 till 19:00).
Town hall: Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 97 – 22100 Como.
Railway station: The main railway station is called Como San Giovanni. There is also a second station called Como Nord Lago.
Funicular: The funiculare between Como and Brunate is a tourist attraction in itself, offering spectacular views of the lake and the city.
The Duomo (“Cathedral”) is one of the most important monuments of the city.
Other interesting churches are the Romanesque basilicas of San Carpoforo, Sant’Abbondio and San Fedele. The biggest attractions of the Basilica of Sant’Abbondio are the fresco cycle in the apse and the sculptural decorations by the maestri comacini.
The Palazzo del Broletto and the Torre Civica form one complex with the Cathedral. The Broletto is now being used for conferences and exhibitions.
The most impressive 18th and 19th century villas are the Villa Rotonda and the Villa Olmo.
One of the most famous people to have been born in Como is the scientist, and inventor of the voltaic battery, Alessandro Volta. His life and works are celebrated in the lakeside Tempio Voltiano.
A brief history of Como
Before the Romans conquered the settlement in 196 BC, Como was in the hands of the Orobian Gauls. It became a municipality and the capital of the territory.
After the fall of the western Roman Empire, the territory was frequently invaded by the barbarians.
Toward the end of the 11th century, Como became a free commune.
In 1311, Franchino Rusconi proclaimed himself prince of the city.
Rusconi was succeeded by the Visconti and after that the Sforza. This meant that Como had become completely dependent on Milan.
The decline of the city continued under the Spanish rulers, but was reversed in 1774, when the Austrians took over.
In 848, during the rebellion known as the “Five Days of Milan”, Como also fought for its freedom. However, the city was only liberated in 1859, when Garibaldi annexed it to the Kingdom of Sardinia.
How to get to Como by car
Como is connected to Saronno and Milan by the A9 highway, to Bergamo and Varese by the SS342, and to Lugano (Switzerland) by the A2.