Favoured by great personalities of culture in the course of the centuries, lake Como is today a favourite destination for the most refined and demanding international tourism, which is discovering again the subtle pleasures of exclusivity, relax, service excellence and of the emotions given by the lake ambience. A new conception of tourism, far from the crowd, near the self, searching for the equilibrium between mind and body, inspired by the fusion the spirituality of the historical monuments, by the refined simplicity of the food, by sport happily marrying water and green fields. To all this, conference infrastructures are added of the highest level, equipped with the most modern technologies and managed with seasoned professionalism, which make Como a suitable site for conferences and meetings of any dimension.
Those stopping in Como for a few days, will have a chance to enjoy all suggestions offered by the territory surrounding the city, discovering the pleasure of hiking on mountain paths, and of bicycle, boat or horse-riding excursions. Every corner of the Lario surroundings tells stories and legends, like the miracle by the Madonna del Soccorso in Ossuccio, or Griante, which inspired Verdi’s Traviata, and naturally Oria, the background for Franco and Luisa’s passion, the main characters of “Piccolo Mondo Antico” by Fogazzaro. And finally there are so many other towns and villages now famous, such as Cernobbio, always the choice destination for elite conference travellers.
Como and its Province offer several points of great interest to art lovers. This land has always been the favourite spot for painters, sculptors, musicians and architects who left their mark on the territory. The Moltrasio stone characterizes the Como Romanesque of the Magistri Comacini. From this period we find Porta Torre, very rare example of fortified architecture, San Carpoforo Basilica, ordinated to Christian Church in 386, the Baradello Castle, which dominates the city from high up, and Sant’Abbondio Basilica, dedicated to the City’s Patron Saint, housing a magnificent cycle of fourteenth century frescoes. But Como is also the birthplace of the more recent Rationalism: Giuseppe Terragni is its pioneer. Among his works we note Palazzo Terragni, the Asilo Sant’Elia and the Novocomum.
Villas of historical interest are the most surprising feature of the Como territory: luxurious mansions, built between 1500 and 1800, enriching the Lario with refined parks. The fast panoramic excursion by Brunate Funicular allows one to admire the City and the Lake’s first basin from high up. Como offers many cultural events of great relevance: Contemporary Arts Shows in Villa Olmo, the literary review Parolario, which alternates cultural meetings and debates for three weeks, and the International Festival Autunno Musicale, a cycle of classical music concerts. Como’s summer is a succession of shows of every musical genre and of folklore, such as the Festival dei Fuochi Lariani, a fireworks competition. The Città dei Balocchi kermis livens up the Christmas period with fun and games for the children. The Campione d’Italia Casino, not far away, offers the tourist a chance of spending a magnificent evening.
Sports are certainly not in short supply in Como! For the lovers of water sports the choice ranges from sailing to water-skiing, from rowing to windsurfing, and the Motor-Boating World Championship is held every year in the Lake’s first basin. Particular attention is paid to the sport of Golf. Within Como Province there are six high level playing courses, which rate Como first as far as facilities for the aficionados are concerned. The nearby mountains will allow long excursions, both for experienced climbers and for lovers of romantic walks.
Everywhere in the world Como is synonymous with silk which starting from 16th century has been one of the fundamental elements for the development of the City and its economy. The fascinating centre of town, with its innumerable high fashion boutiques, makes shopping in places where to sip a tea, an aperitif or taste a delicacy. Many in the province are the “outlets” (factory shops) where famous designer companies offer their clothes at more accessible prices. In the very interesting museums devoted to textile Art, the rich collections let the visitor trace back through the entire history of this ancient industry.
The gastronomy in Como is conditioned by how the land lies, so that it can be divided in three main areas: the lake, where fish are the star, be it perch, white fish or shad; the surrounding mountains and valleys, archaic and secret, revolving around venison and “polenta” (maize porridge), and finally the Brianza, characterized by tasty meat dishes. In addition the area offers exquisite oil made from locally grown olives. The particular climate confers it a unique taste.