The ancient Como, built on the slopes of the hills between Breccia and San Fermo, was conquered by the Romans after their victory over the Gaulish Insubres allied with the Comensi, in 196 BC. In 89 BC, after the town was devastated by the Reati, the Romans decided to re-build the settlement near the lake. The new town, called Novum Comum, was founded. The so-called “new” city had a typical Roman urban planning, a rectilinear grid of streets wrapped in a wall of defence. This plan is still recognizable in the old town center.
You can start your itinerary to discover the city from the historic center that faces the lakeshore with the Cathedral or Duomo serving as a reference point. You could walk along the medieval walls or admire local landmarks like the Volta Temple, dedicated to the life and work of the inventor of batteries. The city’s connection with light is reaffirmed by Daniel Libeskind’s installation “The Life Electric”, as well as the Festival of Light, which brings illuminated scientists, projections and walkways.
One of the symbols of the city is Villa Olmo. This neo-classic building is surrounded by an Italian Garden dotted with horse chestnut trees, Cedars of Lebanon, Sycamores and a fascinating greenhouse from the 19th century. This complex is part of the “Chilometro della conoscenza” (“Kilometre of Knowledge”), a path connecting greenhouses, lemon groves, and Villas like Grumello and Sucota as well as breathtaking views and enchanted hidden corners.
At Piazza De Gasperi you can then hop in a cable car that will take you to Brunate and its panoramic sighting points at a 700 meters altitude. From the “Belvedere” there are spectacular views of Como, the lake basin and the Alpine chain.