Located on the Italian-Swiss border, the city of Como in Italy is very popular for the beauty of its landscape and its immeasurable charm. Easy to cover on foot, Como overlooks the southwest end of its lake (locally known as Lario) and is surrounded by green ridge hills, resulting in unparalleled, natural scenery.
The town center, enclosed within medieval walls, still emanates an ancient atmosphere which reveals its centuries of history. All of this, together with its proximity to the Alps and other points of interest in the Lombardy region, is the reason for why Como has become a very popular tourist destination. There are a lot of things to do in Como, Italy, and once you’ve made the decision to visit the city, it really comes down to time management. So, here’s a few attractions that you must see during your stay in Como. Enjoy your walk!
Best things to do in Como in a day
Your trip in Como can start with a visit to Piazza Vittoria and its monument to Giuseppe Garibaldi, the famous Italian general who liberated the city from the Austrians in 1859. The square was named after the surrender by the Austrians, whose barracks were located in the nearby area of San Francesco (currently occupied by the local court).
One of the most typical things to see in Como is the the outdoor market, where you can find vintage clothing and handcrafts. The market – open on Tuesdays/Thursdays from 8 am to 1 pm, and on Saturdays from 8 am to 7 pm – is located next to Porta Torre, the main entrance to the medieval walls that delimit the southern part of downtown.
Next, your trip can go on by heading to Piazza San Fedele, that was originally a wheat market and still hosts its Romanesque church, which dates back to 1120: the Basilica of San Fedele. If you happen to pass through this little square on Saturdays, you will have the chance to come across numerous stalls, where you can find some antiques and handcrafted items.
Your stroll through Como should continue toward Piazza del Duomo. After a break in one of the many cafés in the area, you must make enough time to see the Cathedral and the nearby Broletto.
Visiting the Como Cathedral (Duomo di Como) is definitely one of the best things to do in Como, since the church is characterized by a set of styles ranging from Romanesque to Gothic. Right in between the cathedral and its bell tower you will find the Broletto (the old town hall). This old building, that once hosted public assemblies, has just become a reference point for any visitor, being the seat of the new tourist information office.
A few other attractions in Como, Italy
Following this stop, make your way to Piazza Cavour, the old city harbor that is now home to many pretty cafés with a beautiful view of the lake. Then you can choose to go left or right; in both cases you will enjoy a relaxing walk along the lakeside.
If you go left, you can head to the newly installed monument by Daniel Libeskind, Life Electric. The avant-garde work is located at the bottom of Diga Foranea and is a homage to the voltaic pile invented by Alessandro Volta.
Talking of this great scientist, don’t miss the nearby Volta museum, which collects evidence of his work and even the first version of the electric battery. Take some pictures of the nearby War Memorial (Monumento ai Caduti) and then head for the imposing Villa Olmo, a neoclassical building which dates back to the 1780s.
If you go right from Piazza Cavour, you will have the chance to take the Brunate cable car and enjoy a view of Lake Como from the top of a hill 715 meters (about 782 yards) high. Once there, you can walk for approximately 35 minutes and reach the Volta Lighthouse (Faro Voltiano), a beautiful lighthouse that alternately emits green, white, and red lights (the Italian flag colors).
Population: 84.636 (March 31, 2015)
Altitude: 201 m (659 ft)
Neighboring towns: Blevio, Capiago Intimiano, Casnate con Bernate, Cernobbio, Chiasso (CH), Lipomo, Maslianico, Montano Lucino, San Fermo della Battaglia, Senna Comasco, Tavernerio, Torno, Vacallo (CH)