Lake Como - Como -Cernobbio-Moltrasio-Laglio

Lago
Europe
Italy
Como Lake

Como offers pleasant discoveries to the attentive observer, the lake, of course, where one can lose onself in thought, the ancient walls of the city, the Cathedral and the Church of Saint Abbondio, the historical monuments, the modern lines of rationalist archtecture, the softness of silk, and the memories in the air of ancient times and the lives of clever and intrepid merchants. 

Como has developed along the shores of the lake and is city of elegance and fine variety, a place to visit for its history and culture, for the shopping, and the natural beauty of the lake with its Belle Epoque style paddle boats and many smart period villas.

Como

The city of Como is the capital of Silk, a beautiful city in a stunning lakeside location with wonderful views all year round as well as an important tourist destination with comercial and cultural importance too.

Como has a superb art gallery in Via Diaz which is open all year round (closed on Mondays) which is able to give a fine overall view of cultural and artistic life in Como with local schools having a significant part so that culture can filter down through the generations too. There are also Civil Museums of history, archeology, the Votliano Temple and much more besides.

Como offers pleasant discoveries to the attentive observer, the lake, of course, where one can lose onself in thought, the ancient walls of the city, the Cathedral and the Church of Saint Abbondio, the historical monuments, the modern lines of rationalist archtecture, the softness of silk, and the memories in the air of ancient times and the lives of clever and intrepid merchants. Geographically speaking, it is in an idyllic position on the south west shore of Lake Como and the slopes of the Baradello and San Fermo hills which in the distance merge with the pre-alpine forms of Monte Brunate.
Como has inspired composers such as Verdi, poets such as Lord Byron, wroters such as Stendhal. The history of the city goes back over 2000 years and one can admire superb examples of styles from the Gothic, Romanic and Renaissance to contemprary architecture. 

The 4 seasons

Not just a tourist resort, Como offers activities and events from spring through the summer seasons and well into autumn,is a modern city with interest of all kinds all year round. The hotels are open all year round here, the theatre called Teatro Sociale has a fine program of opera, ballet, prose and comedy, concerts and gospel music. Something for all tastes here and more info can be found on www.teatrosocialecomo.it.   

From spring to autumn, there are gorgeous villas to see and visit, such as Villa del Balbianello, a superb example of villa and garden left in 1988 to the  FAI, a private foundation that is dedicated to the environment and culture and its preservation, which still looks after its maintenance. Many of the splendid historical villas on Lake Como have become hotels, many of which are of incomparable beauty and are well known all over the world, such as Villa D'Este in Cernobbio, where the 161 rooms are all different from each other.

There are not too many museums in Como but all of them are of interest and importance from a cultural point of view: Il Museo della Seta the Silk Museum, Via Castelnuovo, 9,  22100 Como; The Giuseppe Garibaldi Museum ,  Piazza Medaglie d'Oro, 1,  22100 Como - Garibaldi was important to Como and stayed in the Palazzo di Olginate in 1866. Villa Flora was the stage his brief marriage to the daughter of the owner, Marchese Raimondi, played out on, and in 1958 this villa too was converted into a hotel.

Gourmet

Como is a great film location, thanks to its picturesque beauty, a known destination for film stars on vacation, a refuge for historical figures such as Benito Mussolini, a place of inspiration for poets, painters and musicians. It is the deepest lake in Europe (410 meters at its deepest point) and has rich anecdotes to tell that will prove of charm and interest to visitors passing through and seeking culture and shopping. It leaves an indelible mark on all who come here, leaving the desire to return one day. There are still artisan realities that elsewhere have long since disappeared from modern urban life, such as shirt makers and tailor's shops.  Less than 5 km away at Grandate there is a littel museum dedicated to toy horses with 650 examples on show, the most antique going back to the 1700's.

From spring to autumn, many villas can be visited around Como, such as Villa Balbianello , left as part of an inheritance to the FAI private foundation that is dedicated to the environment and culture and still maintains it today. As we have already said, many of the villas on Como have become hotels that are world renowned like  Villa D'Este at Cernobbio, where 161 roomsa re all different from each other. Other examples are Villa Serbelloni at Bellagio, the Grand Hotel Villa Tremezzo, and Villa Flori

The films shot here are Ocean's Twelve ( Villa Erba and Villa Oleandra) , with an international star studded cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt,  Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones to mention just a few, Star Wars Episode 2 (Villa del Balbianello), Rocco and his Brothers by Visconti, A HArd Life by Dino Risi, and more recently still the 21st James Bond film Casino Royale (Villa del Balbianello e Villa La Gaeta).

Local Color

Lake Como cuisine is mainly of the Lombardy region's typical style with the laddition of ake and river specialities of fish. The unusual “misultin”, dried lake fish pressed between bay leaves, roast goose and stuffed pheasants and chicken are examples of this style of cooking which is inspired very much by suggestions coming from the chefs of the grand aristocratic houses and their numerous holiday residences and villas along the Lario region of Como, Typically the lake fish called alborelle, is served fried or in carpione (fried and then marinated in ine vinegar with herbs).

The city of Como offers a rich choice of restaurants and trattorias, from award winning ones to typical little places to enjoy traditional flavours or rare delicacies of the area such as the asparagus from Roganro or the olive oil which is not only light and delicate but also extremely rare and precious. 

The mountain pastures and the plains of Lombardy provide a great deal of milk which is made into butter and cheeses, as well as rice and corn which are important elements of local cuisine. So fragrant yellow polenta is served with slowly stewed meats, with highly flavoured cheeses from the mountains and plane, king among these the much appreciated gorgonzola. Not to mention the great risottos which can be created around many different flavours and seasonal ingredients, from mushrooms, to asparagus, saffron and much more besides.  

Cooking on Lake Como is flavoursome and substantial but with the lake fish and many seasonal vegetables becomes light and tasty, in line with the rules of modern dietary science and the area offers a wealth of restaurants, trattorias, wine bars and pizzerias with a wide range of choice for all tastes. 

A meal woul not be complete without something sweet to round it off and thre a few unusual specilaities in this area too: the Resta de Comm is a kind of oblong panettone which hides an olive branch in its senter, a well-wishing element for all who eat it. Not to be missed:  Cotizza with an unmistakable lemon flavour and the Nocciolini from Canzo, a little village which is keeping the sweet flag of tradition flying!

Shopping

The quiet look of this respectable little border town, Como hides a rather racy, licentious past., Up until the 50's and even later, in the years of smuggling and prostitution, the Silk capital represented, particularly for provincial visitors, a little place where all imaginable pleasures were easily found, including those of the flesh. By organising a guide for the day it is possible to rediscover the places these pleasures were available, thanks to a recent volume called Como a Luci Rosse, or Red Light Como, by Cristina Fontana. Starting with ancient Roman Como she recontructs two thousand years of the lives of those young ladies who were anything but merry, as the pages of the book will tell.


The colorful“Palio del Baradello di Como” is an annual event that traces the glorious past of the city of Como that is still the pride of its inhabitants, Como relives these moments in the Palio held in the city and in other towns of the area each year. They fight for the “pallium”, an artistic standard painted on silk by local artists. Those competing for the Pallium are to be seen in three pectacular competitive events that are typical of the area: “La Giostra” (joisting on horseback) – “La Carriolana” (an extremely physically trying event ran in couples with characteristic wooden carriages) and the “Tug of war” (a typically medieval form of testing strength).

Culture and folklore

The quiet look of this respectable little border town, Como hides a rather racy, licentious past., Up until the 50's and even later, in the years of smuggling and prostitution, the Silk capital represented, particularly for provincial visitors, a little place where all imaginable pleasures were easily found, including those of the flesh. By organising a guide for the day it is possible to rediscover the places these pleasures were available, thanks to a recent volume called Como a Luci Rosse, or Red Light Como, by Cristina Fontana. Starting with ancient Roman Como she recontructs two thousand years of the lives of those young ladies who were anything but merry, as the pages of the book will tell.


The colorful“Palio del Baradello di Como” is an annual event that traces the glorious past of the city of Como that is still the pride of its inhabitants, Como relives these moments in the Palio held in the city and in other towns of the area each year. They fight for the “pallium”, an artistic standard painted on silk by local artists. Those competing for the Pallium are to be seen in three pectacular competitive events that are typical of the area: “La Giostra” (joisting on horseback) – “La Carriolana” (an extremely physically trying event ran in couples with characteristic wooden carriages) and the “Tug of war” (a typically medieval form of testing strength).

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