Como, Italy Tourist Attractions
Como, capital of the province of the same name, some 50km/31mi north of Milan, lies at the southern end of Lake Como, surrounded by rocky hills, which are partly forest-covered. Como is an important center of the silk industry.Como was founded by the Romans in 195 B.C., on the site of an earlier settlement, as the frontier fortress of Comum, directed against the Rhaetians. During the Middle Ages the town - which in 1058 had the status of an episcopal see independent of Milan - was the key to Lombardy and an important base of the German emperors. In 1451 it passed to the control of Milan. In recent years considerable subsidence has been noted.The town's life centers on the Piazza Cavour, by the harbor, from which the short Via Plinio runs southeast to the Piazza del Duomo. On the east side of this square is the Broletto (1215), formerly a lawcourt, now a banqueting hall.
Adjoining the Broletto to the southeast is the cathedral, built entirely of marble (originally erected 1396, remodeled in Renaissance style 1426-1596; dome over crossing 1730-70). On either side of the principal doorway, which has fine sculptured decorations, are statues (1498) of Pliny the Elder and Younger, natives of Como. Southeast of the cathedral in Via Vittorio Emanuele II, Como's principal street, is the Romanesque church of San Fedele (12th century). Opposite it is the Town Hall.
South of the cathedral in Como, in the Palazzo Giovio in Como, are the Musei Civici, with archeological finds and documents on local history. Via Vittorio Emanuele II runs south to end at the town walls, which enclose Como on three sides. On the southeast side of the old town are three well-preserved 12th century towers.
About 500m/550yd from the southwest corner of the town walls of Como is the twin-towered church of Sant'Abbondio, a basilica in Lombard Romanesque style (11th century; modernized in 1587). The choir contains 14th century frescoes.
A little way southwest of Piazza Cavour is Piazza Volta, with a statue of the physicist Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), a native of Como who was born in No 50 Via Volta.
At the northeast corner of the Giardino Pubblico, on the shores of Lake Como, stands the Neo- Classical Tempio Voltiano, with the Volta Museum, the exhibits in which include the first voltaic pile.
From the Piazza Vittoria it is 5km/3mi by road (also funicular) to the villa suburb of Brunate (716m/2,363ft), on a terrace on the hillside, with beautiful views of Como, the plain extending as far as Milan, the Pre-Alps and the mountains from Monte Rosa to Monviso.
There are even more extensive views from San Maurizio (871m/2,874ft), 2.5km/2mi above Brunate.
From Brunate there is a footpath (2 hours) to the top of Monte Boletto (1,234m/4,720ft; views).