Como in a weekend
A mediaeval heart for the city that loves science and design with light. Discover Como in 48 hours. Without ever losing sight of the lake
The Volta Temple is a small Pantheon on the shores of the lake, erected in memory of Alessandro Volta. The equipment, machines and his scientific instruments speak of early experiments, attempts and successes.
From the battery to the LED, energy flows through the city. From “The Life Electric”, a lakefront installation by star architect Daniel Libeskind, to the “Festival della Luce” held in spring: meet Nobel Prize winners, watch video projection mapping and enjoy walks in the bright light.
A coffee in the historic centre. Inside the walls, which alone are worth the visit, the Duomo features a late gothic façade and a dome by Juvarra; the Broletto, dating back to 1215, is in polychrome marble from Lake Como quarries. Behind the apse, across the street, we can admire 1930s architectures by Terragni, one of the protagonists of Italian Rationalism. For a coffee break, stop at the porticoes of Piazza San Fedele, opposite the Romanesque façade of the basilica. Artfully decorated, it closes the piazza like an amazing stage curtain.
Among wefts and warps. In the Como area, silk production dates back to the 15th century. With the advent of the industrial revolution, between the 18th and the first half of the 19th century, twisting and spinning factories mushroomed throughout the region. The Silk Museum illustrates the entire production chain, from the silkworm to the finishing, through a collection of textile machines and thousands of historical pieces. The Fondazione Ratti’s Museo Studio del Tessuto houses 3,300 individual textile items and over 2,500 sample books. Every year, the “Artists Research Laboratory”
project offers an artist residence by the lake to 20 young talents. Looking to the future.
A tour of the villas. The first visit is to the cultural centre of Villa Olmo, a magnificent 18th century villa also famous for its Italian garden, which offers the best view of Como overlooking its lake. The “Chilometro della Conoscenza”, running through 42 acres of centuries-old parks surrounded by water, takes us to Villa del Grumello and Villa Sucota, where we can explore greenhouses and lemon groves, and in spring enjoy the poetry walks of the “Festival Parolario”. The Art Nouveau Villa Bernasconi is worth a trip to Cernobbio.
A lake to explore. Two ways to experience the world’s most famous lake; two ways of navigating it. By boat to one of the many destinations (Varenna, Menaggio, Bellagio, Tremezzo, Lenno). Or by seaplane: Como boasts the only European School, which also organises tourist flights. The view is breathtaking, but the real thrill is landing on the water.
From the Tempio Voltiano to the neoclassical villas, passing through the historic centre and the secrets of silk. A stroll in the city, and then one more step to take flight