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MAY AND JUNE: TWO MONTHS TO ANTICIPATE SUMMER. WHY CHOOSING AND WHAT TO DO ON COMO LAKE

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

With the arrival of the warm season, it is always nice to go somewhere for the weekend. A trip to Como will allow you to take advantage of the weekend at its best, while walking through the streets of the historical center, filled with history, and through the beauty of the nature on the lake.

veduta della città di como, in primo piano il lago e viale geno, al centro la città con il duomo, sullo sfondo le montagne ed il castellerete bardello
Como and the lake

Little tip: you should spend an entire day in Como’s city center and the following day should be used to discover the lake.

COMO'S HISTORICAL CENTER

Keep in mind that the historical center of Como is a pedestrian zone enclosed by the old walls of the city.

ingresso della città di como con porta torre, torre di pietra
Porta Torre

The main entrance is – in fact – Porta Torre, fortress wanted by Federico Barbarossa, that protects the most important entrance of the city.


From here you can take any street, all of them will bring you to the lake! From here to the lake it takes about 15 minutes by walk.


But don’t hurry! Since you’re already passing by the city streets, stop to see these attractions:


COMO'S CATHEDRAL
duomo di como con broletto e torre civica
Como's Cathedral and the Torre Civica

Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral, with its sixteenth-century paintings and tapestries, represents one of the most important monuments of northern Italy.

The façade is late Gothic and dates back to the second half of the fifteenth century.


By the cathedral, facing the square, lies the Broletto — the original seat of the city hall during the Medieval period — and the Torre Civica — its tower.

Facing towards the square behind the cathedral is the city’s main theatre: the Teatro sociale di Como, inaugurated in 1813.

LA BASILICA DI SAN FEDELE

The Basilica di San Fedele, with its neo-romanesque style, dates back to 1120 and is dedicated to the homonymous Saint, who evangelised the church of Como. The inside of the Basilica is Baroque and decorated with frescoes.

LA BASILICA DI SANT’ABBONDIO

The Basilica di Sant’Abbondio is Romanesque. At its side rises a cloister built during the Middle Ages. Today it hosts the law department of the Università degli Studi dell’Insubria.

The Basilica rises on a preexisting paleo-christian Basilica of the fifth century. Inside there are frescoes that represent one of Lombardy’s most intact pictorial cycles of the fourth century.

WALK ALONGSIDE THE LAKE
viale pedonale con aiuole fiori sul lago di como
Lungolago di Como

Beginning in Lungo Lario Trieste, where you can eat with a view on the lake, you can walk all the way down to the other bank, dominated by Villa Olmo, whose park represents one of the most important gardens of the entire province.


Along the walk, it is possible to see also the Senigallia Stadium and the Aero Club, which is the oldest flight organization and hydro-school of the world.

VILLA OLMO

Villa Olmo, in neoclassical style, often hosts temporary exhibitions; It is also possible to relax in its garden, lying in the shade of its majestic cedar tree.

IL TEMPIO VOLTIANO

The Tempio Voltiano is a museum which hosts an exhibition dedicated to Alessandro Volta, where it is possible to see, among the other things, Volta’s battery. It was inaugurated in 1928, on the occasion of the centennial of Alessandro Volta’s death. The outside is in neoclassical style, and was thought by architect Federico Frigerio to pay homage to the man who represented the genius of the Napoleonic era.

THE FUNICOLAR

Como’s Funicolar connects the city to the town of Brunate, situated on the mountain overlooking the lake. From the top of the mountain it is possible to admire the lake and the city of Como. It was inaugurated in 1894; before that time, the town of Brunate was reachable only with a mule track.

BRUNATE

You can’t leave Como without seeing Brunate. The town is reachable with the Funicular of Como-Brunate.

brunate e faro di brunate
Brunate and the lighthouse

To reach the top of the mountain, however, you need to follow a path among Liberty Villas, which were — in the past — the destination of the nobility’s holidays. Once reached the top, you can taste the beautiful panorama from the Faro Voltiano (the lighthouse) and its terrace, which offers a view on the Alps. It was built on the occasion of the centennial of Alessandro Volta’s death.

THE LAKE

The best way — and the most suggestive one — to visit Como is from the lake. The perspective of the city changes drastically from the water and gives the visitor postcard-landscapes. It is possible to visit the branch of Como with the ferry. This trip includes stops in the main towns of the province and in some of the most beautiful Villas of Italy.

In order to visit the lake it is necessary to go to Piazza Cavour, in front of which lies the pier, from where all the ferries depart for the visit of the lake. The visit of the first part of the lake includes the towns of Cernobbio, Moltrasio and Torno. The magic in these three villages lays in their center. The beauty comes right from the historical buildings and the narrow streets of the center, that make them unique.

Probably, the most characteristic town is Torno. The village is filled with villas and old churches that reflect its prestige and its story, made of conflicts and raids with the city of Como. Walking through the streets of the historical center is a unique experience. The symbol of Torno is the beautiful church of Santa Tecla, that overlooks the crystalline water of the lake.


It is also possible to visit the places up north the lake, like Bellagio and Varenna. The historical center of Bellagio, with all its little shops along the streets and stairs is famous all around the world. The atmosphere is that of an elegant yet lively village.

Varenna is a small fisherman village, where life goes on slowly. Also here you cannot miss the historical center. Very suggestive is then the “passeggiata degli innamorati”, a 250-metre-long gangway on the lake that connects the center of Varenna to the pier.

If all these ideas are not enough, have a look here to see what else you can do on Como lake:


HOTEL PARADISO

Hotel Paradiso lies in Brunate, on the mountain overlooking Como. To reach the city center you’ll have to take the funicular: in less than 10 minutes you’ll find yourself on the lake!


Beside being very near to the center, Hotel Paradiso has a stunning view! From here you’ll be able to see a little “preview” of all your destination for the weekend. The view from your room is simply perfect, also during the night, with all the little lights of the lake.

The breakfast with a view is a gem! Imagine yourself under the sun, with a nice coffee in hand, as you’re choosing the destination of the day, with this panorama:

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