One of the best things to do in Lake Como is surely to visit the city’s historic center.
Como is a city full of medieval districts. In the large Piazza Duomo, the heart of this old Roman city, you can find the Civic Tower, the Broletto and the Duomo.
The Broletto, the ancient seat of the Municipal built in 1215, is now an exhibition center. The Cathedral, built with white marble from Musso, was constructed on the ruins of the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, of which still remains the altar built in 1300.
Splendid is the 15th century altarpiece of Sant’Abbondio, depicting the city’s patron in carved and gilded wood, as well as the great cupola of architect Philip Luvarra of Savoy. Lastly, there is the impressive Gothic façade with the two Plinii: the Old and the Young.
A walk to the city center will allow you to discover the palaces which belonged to the most powerful families of Como, such as the Palazzo Vittani with its towers that overlook the harbor area, the old trade routes, and the Palazzo Rusca. Palazzo Sangiuliani with its elegant mullioned windows, huge and imposing glass panes, and decorated with a 15th century fresco of the lady Cortesella, who gives her name to the district. Palazzo del Pero, which belonged to a famous warlord whose emblem still remains on the door. Lastly is Palazzo Natta, renovated in the Baroque era and now housing the headquarters of the University.
Como has always been known as the Silk City; a visit to the Silk Museum will teach you all about the social and economic history of the city. The museum, built next to the school that prepares skilled workers in this field, presents the entire process of silk production from the birth of silkworm cocoons, reeling from the spinning, twisting and the weaving of the product. Finally, you can see the machinery and the chemical laboratory used for the preparation of the colors, as well as the various processes for the preparation of drawings and print.
Photos by K. Weise, Geobia, Nicola Guarisco & Geobia from Wikipedia Creative Commons