Starting from the city of Como
If I say Lake Como, what do you think of? Probably you’ll think of tiny small fishermen villages by the lake, small ports and cozy restaurants. And that’s true but I must admit you’re not completely right.
Think of a city full of historical building and traces of the past, romantic lakefront promenades across Neoclassical villas and gardens, small vintage shops and workshops. I’m talking of Como and I suggest that you start your tour of Lake Como exactly from here.
Como is the best starting point for visiting Lake Como because it’s the most important center of the lake. Every day there are many ferryboats coming and leaving from here to reach all the other centers around the lake (Bellagio, Cernobbio, Menaggio, Varenna, Colico, only to name a few).
But not only. Como is a stunning city that has much more to offer than just the lakefront and the port. Easily reachable from Malpensa Airport (50 km) and Milan city (50 km) also by train or by bus, Como is the right place to be for a weekend or a romantic getaway all year long.
Start your visit of Como from Piazza Cavour, one of the main squares, right in front of the lake, and move toward the inner part of the city, where you find Piazza del Duomo, with the beautiful Cathedral and Broletto, the old Town Hall. Remainings of the Medieval walls are still visible, as well as the gates of the city, like the amazing tower of Porta Vittoria.
Have a stroll along the old streets of the historical centre, like Via Muralto and via Vitani, among ancient buildings and inner courtyards, old shops and artisan workshop to relive the atmosphere of the past.
Como is also famous for its buildings of rationalist architecture, like Casa del Fascio, the War Memorial, Asilo Sant’Elia and Novocomum, and its neoclassical villas (among which Villa Olmo, Villa Saporiti and Villa del Grumello) as well as Tempio Voltiano, a temple-museum dedicated to scientist Alessandro Volta, who was born right in Como.
After visiting the historical centre of Como, take a relaxing stroll along the lake up to Villa Gleno and its famous fountain. Nearby there is also the funicular railway that take you to Brunate: from this lovely village you’ll enjoy an amazing view of the city and of the lake.
A longer walk to the left side of the lake take you instead along a breathtaking promenade (3 km long) that connect Como with Cernobbio. Here don’t miss ‘Chilometro della conoscenza‘ (Kilometer of Knowledge), a route among old villas, gardens and stunning views, starting from the park of Villa Olmo, the most important villa in town. Through pathways and bridges you’ll pass by historical villas like Villa del Grumello, with its beautiful greenhouse and gardens, and Villa Sucota.
After the visit of Como you are ready for a day-tour to Lake Como.
Visiting Lake Como you don’t necessarily need to take your car to visit the lake: you can have a tour by ferryboat using the public transport. You may consider taking the so called ‘circular ticket’ that allows you to leave from and go back to Como and get on and off the boat wherever you choose.
Where to eat
Enjoy a very special food experience at Trattoria Gerbet, in the downtown. This is a very special place since its staff is from the local restaurant management school. Its young chefs and waiters do their best to surprise clients.
Where to sleep
I had a very pleasant stay at Hotel Cascina Canova, a XIX century farmhouse turned into a 4 star luxury hotel. It’s the perfect place for whom wants to relax in a peaceful location, very close to the Swiss border too.