Everybody knows the Lake Como of George Clooney fame, the legendary body of water which draws the masses year after year and entices the wealthy to claim the historic villas which line the shore. But what about the town itself, the historic centre behind the lake?
Sure, we have all seen lovely pictures of Lake Como and have dreamed of walking along the shore, with calm blue waters on one side and pristine Italian villas on the other. Case in point, my last blog post about Como:
Though did you know that Como is actually a town? As in, there is actually a beautiful historic town which just happens to be right next to the famous lake?
I feel sorry for Como, overshadowed by the gorgeous expanse of water with which it shares a name, so here we go – here is a run-down of everything the equally gorgeous town has to offer!
This beautiful temple is a short walk from the Lago di Como train station and looks out over the lake. The temple has been converted to a museum dedicated to Alessandro Volta and it is fascinating. As if the stunning architecture and location weren’t enough, the space is filled with exhibitions detailing Volta’s experiments and works.
Cattedrale di Como
The Como Cathedral is very beautiful. One thing which differentiated the cathedral from others which I visited during my stay in Italy was the massive historic tapestries which hung from the ceiling. They seemed a little worn and faded, but were captivating nonetheless. The high ceilings were, as many of the churches in Italy, masterfully painted and absolutely breathtaking to look at. I craned my neck as I slowly walked through, marvelling at the lightness of the domes.
Basilica di San Fedele
This Basilica is quite beautiful, and is a nice stop for those interested in European churches. The Basilica is located in Piazza San Fedele, which is also the home of some beautiful historic houses which were built during the Renaissance.
At the edge of the town lies the old Tower, part of the medieval fortifications and walls of the town. It is an imposing tower just outside of the historic centre, past the Museo Civico. It is also possible to walk along the wall around Como.
There are several museums in Como, including the Museo Civico e Museo Archeologico Paolo Giovio. During my day trip, I wasn’t able to visit either of the museums, but I did get a peek into the lovely courtyard of the Museo Civico (pictured to the side). In addition, Como boasts of a Cinema dei Ragazzi, another interesting feature of the town.
Apart from the sites listed above, Como’s historic centre is home to an array of gorgeous cafés and stores. It is the perfect place a relaxed afternoon stroll or a morning cappuccino, particularly in the area of Piazza del Duomo and Piazza Cavour. The historic centre, a little removed from Lake Como, has so much to offer despite being overshadowed by the lake’s fame and glamour. So it is definitely worthwhile to have a wander and explore this quaint and captivating town.