Top Tips on Spending the Day in Como

>Top Tips on Spending the Day in Como

Vacations are all about relaxing – which for our Palazzo guests can mean lounging around on the Sun Terrace, cruising on the kayaks or strolling up and down Bellagio’s picturesque alleys and staircases. Sometimes when you are on vacation, however, you crave some big(ger) city excitement and urban flair. Never fear – the city of Como is just down the road or a quick ferry ride away and offers our guests myriad ways to spend a day, whether they are fashion fans, foodies or amateur photographers. We have put together a list of exclusive experiences that we can arrange for our guests, pairing them with the guides who are experts in their fields and passionate about their native city. 

Como sits at the southern tip of the southeastern branch of Lake Como, covering 14 square miles of territory and home to just under 85,000 inhabitants. There is more than just tourism happening in Como; it acts as the administrative capital of Como Province and has a thriving industrial sector, particularly in the silk and textile trade. All of that early industrial prosperity gave the city its amazing art and architecture, from the stunning cathedral built from 1396-1740 to the Life Electric, a modern sculpture made in 2015 by artist Daniel Liebeskind. Como counts numerous luminaries among its native sons and daughters, from both Pliny the Elder and the Younger to pioneering physicist Alessandro Volta and from ill-fated boat racer and husband of Monaco’s Princess Caroline Stefano Casiraghi to world champion soccer player Gianluca Zambrotta. Its proximity to Milan makes it a haven for Milanese industrialists and celebrities and a vibrant cultural and gastronomic city with an annual film festival, several major trade shows and fabulous bars, hotels and restaurants. 

There’s literally something for everyone here in Como – what strikes your fancy?

Como for Foodies

Our expert guides know every culinary corner and kitchen of Como, and they love to share their passion for this vibrant city with visitors from abroad. We would be happy to arrange a foodie walking tour for you that takes in Como’s must-see sights and lesser-known corners, beginning in the main square, Piazza Cavour. You’ll visit architectural highlights like the Romanesque Basilica San Fedele and the Gothic Duomo, and make several stops at the city’s favorite delicatessens and pastry shops to sample local fare. A surprising variety of food is produced in Como and environs, from cheese like Taleggio aged in chilly mountain caves to air-cured beef Bresaola from the Valtellina region, from olive oil cultivated on lakeside terraces to sun-dried Missoltini made form lakefish. No trip to Como would be complete without trying the city’s favorite sweets, like artisanal gelato made by hand at a local gelateria, traditional cakes like Miascia made with stale bread and dried fruits or the crepe-like cutizza served with baked apples and sugar. 

Maybe you are not content to just sample Como’s delicacies? We work with some very talented chefs in Como who are generous enough to open their homes and kitchens to our guests for private cooking lessons. It’s a truly unique experience to gain culinary insight passed down from generation to generation and learn about the origins of your favorite Italian food. Gnocchi, for example, is a popular topic for our cooking lessons – not only because it is as fun to make as it is to eat! Many people are unaware of the role pioneering physicist and Como native Alessandro Volta played in introducing the humble spud to Italian kitchens during the late 1700s. Our cooking lessons are about so much more than just preparing recipes, when you sit down with a chef to share a meal, you are experiencing Italy at its most authentic…

Como for STEM enthusiasts and curious kids

If you are interested in science, or have kids who cannot get enough of experimenting with electric circuits, you might want to considering booking a special tour of Como focusing on the life and work of the brilliant physicist Alessandro Volta. A curious kid himself, Volta was committed to pursuing a life in science from the early age of 14 – despite pleas from his family and Jesuit educators to pursue a degree in law or become a priest. Your guide will give you an introduction to the city’s favorite son (maybe leave out the part where he dropped out of school and didn’t attend university!) and take you through the neoclassical Tempio Voltiano on the Como waterfront, where you will have the chance to witness the maestro’s instruments and see a “voltainc pile” – a crude forerunner of the battery that he presented to Napoleon in 1801. The museum has an old-world quality to it, with antique display cases displaying various instruments and experiments, and it will thrill curious minds…

As you make your way through Como with your guide, she will also point out other places of interest, like the house on Via Volta where the maestro was born in 1745 and died in 1862, the Gattoni Tower where Volta carried out many of his early experiments in his friend’s laboratory and the Liceo Classico Alessandro Volta where Volta started his career as a high school science teacher. The tour ends on the waterfront, marveling at Liebeskind’s contemporary sculpture entitled “Life Electric” that the renowned artist gave to the city in memory of Volta in 2015. Visitors interested in extending the tour can take the funicular railway up to Brunate (an example of late 1800s engineering that travels 2400 feet in only 7 minutes!) and hike about one-half hour to the Faro Voltiano, a lighthouse inaugurated on the centenary of Volta’s death and an amazing view of the Lake Como landscape!

Como for photography buffs

We are lucky enough to have an amazing professional photographer as a friend and guide who takes our clients on specialized tours of the Lake Como region designed to capture the quintessential beauty of this unique landscape and to help amateur photographers fill their toolbox with vital skills and techniques that make their photographs really pop. Every one of our photography experiences begins over a coffee with your photographer guide, so that you can talk about your goals and wishes, get a brief on the sights you’ll be photographing and discuss your equipment, whether it is a simple smartphone, a digital SLR or equipment you have rented from your guide. And at the end of the day, you can review the photos and get some tips on editing over an aperitivo with your guide and take home a souvenir photo album.

Your guide knows just where to find Como’s most photogenic spots – like the Mercato Centrale, the city’s covered market and a brilliant example of the rationalist buildings that were popular in Italy between the world wars. You’ll be able to try out your guide’s techniques for capturing the veritable smorgasbord of colors, the distinctive faces of the locals and the striking architecture. Guests interested in capturing Como from above can take the funicular railroad up to the chic resort town of Brunate to shoot the Liberty-style villas with their art nouveau murals, wrought iron railings and ornate decorations. The lookout point at La Fonte del Pissarottino has amazing panoramic views of Lake Como and the Alps beyond – a great chance to practice some wide-angle shots!

Como for fashion fans

The city of Como has been world renowned as a center for silk production since the 15th century: not only was its climate ideally suited to the mulberry trees that fed the silkworms, but its artisans and entrepreneurs proved extremely skilled in creating and marketing high-quality silk fabrics. Our guides are experts in making Como’s exciting industrial history come alive and we have relationships with local silk manufacturers that will give you an inside look at how the silk trade has evolved over the centuries. During the drive or the boat ride to Como, you’ll hear facts and folklore about centuries-old artisans and silkworm breeders – like the women of Lezzeno who used to keep the silkworms warm inside their shirts during the winter…

Once in Como, you can visit the small but well-appointed Museo Didattico della Seta on the outskirts of town and trace the evolution of silk from silkworm egg to finished fabric with interactive displays and historic machines. If you are looking to go deeper into the subject, we can arrange an exclusive visit to a family-run company in Como that is one of the world’s foremost leaders in the creation, production and distribution of textiles. You will be treated to a private tour of the impressive manufacturing halls, a browse of the impressive archives and the chance to chat with the inspiring personalities behind the brand over an expertly brewed caffé. No silk enthusiast on our tours ever goes home empty-handed. Your guide will take you to the company’s factory outlet selling elegant shawls and stoles, ties and pocket squares at competitive prices or guide you through Como’s best boutiques to find the perfect silky souvenir to take home.

Vacations are all about relaxing – which for our Palazzo guests can mean lounging around on the Sun Terrace, cruising on the kayaks or strolling up and down Bellagio’s picturesque alleys and staircases. Sometimes when you are on vacation, however, you crave some big(ger) city excitement and urban flair. Never fear – the city of Como is just down the road or a quick ferry ride away and offers our guests myriad ways to spend a day, whether they are fashion fans, foodies or amateur photographers. We have put together a list of exclusive experiences that we can arrange for our guests, pairing them with the guides who are experts in their fields and passionate about their native city. 

Como sits at the southern tip of the southeastern branch of Lake Como, covering 14 square miles of territory and home to just under 85,000 inhabitants. There is more than just tourism happening in Como; it acts as the administrative capital of Como Province and has a thriving industrial sector, particularly in the silk and textile trade. All of that early industrial prosperity gave the city its amazing art and architecture, from the stunning cathedral built from 1396-1740 to the Life Electric, a modern sculpture made in 2015 by artist Daniel Liebeskind. Como counts numerous luminaries among its native sons and daughters, from both Pliny the Elder and the Younger to pioneering physicist Alessandro Volta and from ill-fated boat racer and husband of Monaco’s Princess Caroline Stefano Casiraghi to world champion soccer player Gianluca Zambrotta. Its proximity to Milan makes it a haven for Milanese industrialists and celebrities and a vibrant cultural and gastronomic city with an annual film festival, several major trade shows and fabulous bars, hotels and restaurants. 

There’s literally something for everyone here in Como – what strikes your fancy?

Como for Foodies

Our expert guides know every culinary corner and kitchen of Como, and they love to share their passion for this vibrant city with visitors from abroad. We would be happy to arrange a foodie walking tour for you that takes in Como’s must-see sights and lesser-known corners, beginning in the main square, Piazza Cavour. You’ll visit architectural highlights like the Romanesque Basilica San Fedele and the Gothic Duomo, and make several stops at the city’s favorite delicatessens and pastry shops to sample local fare. A surprising variety of food is produced in Como and environs, from cheese like Taleggio aged in chilly mountain caves to air-cured beef Bresaola from the Valtellina region, from olive oil cultivated on lakeside terraces to sun-dried Missoltini made form lakefish. No trip to Como would be complete without trying the city’s favorite sweets, like artisanal gelato made by hand at a local gelateria, traditional cakes like Miascia made with stale bread and dried fruits or the crepe-like cutizza served with baked apples and sugar. 

Maybe you are not content to just sample Como’s delicacies? We work with some very talented chefs in Como who are generous enough to open their homes and kitchens to our guests for private cooking lessons. It’s a truly unique experience to gain culinary insight passed down from generation to generation and learn about the origins of your favorite Italian food. Gnocchi, for example, is a popular topic for our cooking lessons – not only because it is as fun to make as it is to eat! Many people are unaware of the role pioneering physicist and Como native Alessandro Volta played in introducing the humble spud to Italian kitchens during the late 1700s. Our cooking lessons are about so much more than just preparing recipes, when you sit down with a chef to share a meal, you are experiencing Italy at its most authentic…

Como for STEM enthusiasts and curious kids

If you are interested in science, or have kids who cannot get enough of experimenting with electric circuits, you might want to considering booking a special tour of Como focusing on the life and work of the brilliant physicist Alessandro Volta. A curious kid himself, Volta was committed to pursuing a life in science from the early age of 14 – despite pleas from his family and Jesuit educators to pursue a degree in law or become a priest. Your guide will give you an introduction to the city’s favorite son (maybe leave out the part where he dropped out of school and didn’t attend university!) and take you through the neoclassical Tempio Voltiano on the Como waterfront, where you will have the chance to witness the maestro’s instruments and see a “voltainc pile” – a crude forerunner of the battery that he presented to Napoleon in 1801. The museum has an old-world quality to it, with antique display cases displaying various instruments and experiments, and it will thrill curious minds… 

As you make your way through Como with your guide, she will also point out other places of interest, like the house on Via Volta where the maestro was born in 1745 and died in 1862, the Gattoni Tower where Volta carried out many of his early experiments in his friend’s laboratory and the Liceo Classico Alessandro Volta where Volta started his career as a high school science teacher. The tour ends on the waterfront, marveling at Liebeskind’s contemporary sculpture entitled “Life Electric” that the renowned artist gave to the city in memory of Volta in 2015. Visitors interested in extending the tour can take the funicular railway up to Brunate (an example of late 1800s engineering that travels 2400 feet in only 7 minutes!) and hike about one-half hour to the Faro Voltiano, a lighthouse inaugurated on the centenary of Volta’s death and an amazing view of the Lake Como landscape! 

Como for photography buffs

We are lucky enough to have an amazing professional photographer as a friend and guide who takes our clients on specialized tours of the Lake Como region designed to capture the quintessential beauty of this unique landscape and to help amateur photographers fill their toolbox with vital skills and techniques that make their photographs really pop. Every one of our photography experiences begins over a coffee with your photographer guide, so that you can talk about your goals and wishes, get a brief on the sights you’ll be photographing and discuss your equipment, whether it is a simple smartphone, a digital SLR or equipment you have rented from your guide. And at the end of the day, you can review the photos and get some tips on editing over an aperitivo with your guide and take home a souvenir photo album.

Your guide knows just where to find Como’s most photogenic spots – like the Mercato Centrale, the city’s covered market and a brilliant example of the rationalist buildings that were popular in Italy between the world wars. You’ll be able to try out your guide’s techniques for capturing the veritable smorgasbord of colors, the distinctive faces of the locals and the striking architecture. Guests interested in capturing Como from above can take the funicular railroad up to the chic resort town of Brunate to shoot the Liberty-style villas with their art nouveau murals, wrought iron railings and ornate decorations. The lookout point at La Fonte del Pissarottino has amazing panoramic views of Lake Como and the Alps beyond – a great chance to practice some wide-angle shots!

Como for fashion fans

The city of Como has been world renowned as a center for silk production since the 15th century: not only was its climate ideally suited to the mulberry trees that fed the silkworms, but its artisans and entrepreneurs proved extremely skilled in creating and marketing high-quality silk fabrics. Our guides are experts in making Como’s exciting industrial history come alive and we have relationships with local silk manufacturers that will give you an inside look at how the silk trade has evolved over the centuries. During the drive or the boat ride to Como, you’ll hear facts and folklore about centuries-old artisans and silkworm breeders – like the women of Lezzeno who used to keep the silkworms warm inside their shirts during the winter…

Once in Como, you can visit the small but well-appointed Museo Didattico della Seta on the outskirts of town and trace the evolution of silk from silkworm egg to finished fabric with interactive displays and historic machines. If you are looking to go deeper into the subject, we can arrange an exclusive visit to a family-run company in Como that is one of the world’s foremost leaders in the creation, production and distribution of textiles. You will be treated to a private tour of the impressive manufacturing halls, a browse of the impressive archives and the chance to chat with the inspiring personalities behind the brand over an expertly brewed caffé. No silk enthusiast on our tours ever goes home empty-handed. Your guide will take you to the company’s factory outlet selling elegant shawls and stoles, ties and pocket squares at competitive prices or guide you through Como’s best boutiques to find the perfect silky souvenir to take home. 

2018-08-06T16:00:15+00:00August 6th, 2018|Categories: Lake Como|0 Comments

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