Como is the administrative capital of the Province of Como, in Lombardy, Italy. Close to the picturesque Lake Como and popular Alps resorts, Como is a highly popular tourist destination about 40km north of Milan and an hour or so from Malpensa Airport.
What is there to do in Como?
Como is a beautiful Italian city and it’s easy to spend a day or so simply wandering its pretty streets and squares.
It’s also the perfect location for nature lovers, with lots of opportunities for exploring the beautiful countryside by floating on the water or hiking across the hillsides.
The Piazza del Duomo is an excellent place to start, as it not only hosts the beautiful Como Cathedral with its Gothic and Romanesque architecture, but the Broletto, or old town hall, which is the new tourist information office. Once you’ve found them, you can enjoy a coffee and pastry at one of the pretty cafes and get your bearings.
The Piazza Vittoria is another must-see. Named after the Austrian surrender of the city in 1859, you can see an impressive monument to the general Giuseppe Garibaldi, who was leading the Italian troops at the time. It guards the Porta Torre gateway, which marks the entrance to the medieval centre of Como. Visit on Saturdays or Tuesday or Thursday mornings to browse market stalls packed with antiques and hand-crafted items.
For the most stunning view of the lake, head towards Piazza Cavour to find the Brunate cable car. It will take you up 715m to see breath-taking views of the whole city, providing you go on a clear day.
Weather in Como
Como is deemed to have a “humid subtropical” climate, where winters are foggy, damp and cold, but relatively short. Summers are known to be hot, heavy and humid, with occasional mountain winds and dramatic thunderstorms clearing the air temporarily.
Spring and autumn are typically considered the most pleasant time to visit, with the air being warm and still, but less muggy and oppressive.
Transport in Como
Como is an excellent base for exploring the other towns and villages around the lake, with lots of leisurely ways to travel between them. Boats are the most immersive form of transport, with slow batello boats being favoured by camera-wielding tourists and the aliscafo services offering faster routes. From the central lake area you can also get a car ferry (traghetto) across the lake.
It’s possible to get a bus along the western shore, with routes running between Como and Bellagio, and Como and Colico (via Tremezzina and Menaggio). Trains run along the eastern coast, stopping in Varenna and Sondrio. You can also catch a train from the central lake area into Milan.