The Best things to do in Como, Italy
Located on the Italian-Swiss border, the city of Como in Italy overlooks the southwest end of its lake and is surrounded by green ridge hills, resulting in unparalleled, natural scenery.
The cool thing about Como is that you can really see and do a lot of things, whether you are visiting Lake Como for a day or staying longer.
Ready to start? Here’s a few attractions that you must see during your visit to Como: enjoy your tour!
PLANNING TO VISIT MILAN?
Don’t miss the chance to spend a few hours – or a few days! – in Como (see how you can easily get to Como from Milan), which is only about one hour by train.
Quick tip: if you can not wait to take a walk on the lakefront, then I’d suggest you to reach Como by train and get off at Como Nord Lago).
Map of Como
THE TOWN CENTER (pt. 1) | Outside the medieval walls
Your trip in Como can start from Piazza Vittoria, home of the monument to Giuseppe Garibaldi (the famous Italian general who liberated the city from the Austrians in 1859).
Here, along the medieval walls that enclose the Como town center, one of the most typical things to see is the the outdoor market, where you can find vintage clothing and handcrafts.
The outdoor 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 of the old town.
THE TOWN CENTER (pt. 2) | San Fedele, Como Cathedral and the main squares
After entering the town center, you will notice the incredible amount of cafés and shops that will make your holiday unforgettable. If you love fashion, you’ll be happy to know that Como has plenty of clothing stores for all budgets.
Walk towards Piazza San Fedele and lose yourself in the delightful little streets of the town center, where you can sip a coffee together with the locals.
Piazza San Fedele, originally a wheat market, is one of the main squares of Como and hosts a beautiful 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, which hosts the Cathedral. 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 minutes away from Piazza Duomo, in the direction of Lake Como, you will find Piazza Cavour.
If you want to take a boat tour, here is where you need to go. The pier in Piazza Cavour, 5 minutes from the Como Nord Lago station, will give you the chance to embark on a boat and reach the other amazing Lake Como’s towns: Bellagio, Menaggio, Tremezzina, etc.
Take a walk on the lakefront and discover all the beautiful things you can see in this area!
From Piazza Cavour, go left and reach Life Electric, the newly installed monument by archistar Daniel Libeskind.
The avant-garde work is located at the bottom of a small artificial dam (called Diga Foranea) and is a homage to the voltaic pile invented by Alessandro Volta.
Volta Museum & War memorial
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 time to relax in the garden between the Volta museum and the War Memorial (Monumento ai Caduti), a beautiful example of Rationalist architecture.
If you are not in a hurry, continue your tour towards the imposing Villa Olmo, a neoclassical building which dates back to the 1780s and is currently a prestigious location for conferences, events, and art exhibitions.
Want to enjoy a breathtaking view of the city of Como? Visit Brunate, a town that overlooks Como from the top of a hill 715 meters (about 782 yards) high.
The Como-Brunate cable car – which runs from Viale Geno, very close to the Como Nord Lago train station – will take you to Brunate in a few minutes (see timetables and fares).
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).
5 best places to sleep in Como
Le Stanze del LagoAPARTMENT
Hilton Lake Como★★★★
For couples and families
Ostello Bello HOSTEL
For young travelers
BED AND BREAKFAST
For couples and families
In Como you have the chance to take a boat tour to enjoy Lake Como from a unique point of view (remember that boat tours start from the pier nearby Piazza Cavour). You can choose between public or private tours, depending on your needs and the budget you have available.