Posted by: debrakolkka | April 11, 2010


It was a very wet, miserable day when we set off on the fast boat to Como from Bellagio.  It takes about an hour and on a clear day it would be an excellent way to see the lake and the villages clustered around the edge.

Cathedral in Como


We arrived in Piazza Cavour and wandered down Via Plinio into Via Vittorio Emanuele II and the Piazza Duomo to the magnificent cathedral, built on the site of of the paleochristian church of Santa Maria Maggiore.  The adjacent Broletto is a 13th century building made of grey and white marble.  The cathedral has a beautiful gothic facade dating from the 15th century. It is embellished by 3 portals, sculptures by Giovanni Rodari and a magnificent rose window.

the Rose window

one of the beautiful windows inside the church

Jesus with quite long hair

detail from the front of the church

detail from the front of the church

We had a delicious lunch at Ristorante Posta in Piazza Volta.  For euro 12 we had pasta and local fish with vegetables, a glass of wine, bread and mineral water.  Who could want more?

Ristorante Posta in Piazza Volta

lunch for euro 12

Alessandro Volta in Piazza Volta

Alessandro Volta is one of Como’s most famous and illustrious sons.  Born in 1745,  he was a scientist.  In 1799 he invented the electic torch, an ancestor to the modern battery.  His name was given to electricity measurement – the volt.  The house where was born is marked by a plaque at number 62, Via Volta. 

Later, while waiting for things to open after siesta we had coffee at Fred – not the most Italian of names.  It is a modern cafe filled with gorgeous young things.

coffee at Fred

On our wanderings we discovered the church of San Fedele and Piazza San Fedele, which was the city market place.  The interior of the church is embellished with Renaissance and Baroque paintings and frescoes, and Romanesque decorations.  The 5th century fonts were rescued from the early Christian church of Sant’Eufemia, which was demolished to make way for San Fedele.

the ancient doorway at the back of San Fedele

detail from the doorway

inside the church

Beside the old church was an interesting shop, Daniela Vecchi.  Unfortunately, it was staffed by a truly obnoxious man. He didn’t want us to touch anything and any comment from us was met with a sneer.  Go in anyway, the stock is great and beautifully displayed and maybe sourpuss will have the day off. 

inside Daniela Vecchi

The medieval Piazza San Fedele, which takes its name from the basilica, contains 2 typical houses from the 16th century.  The square was once called corn market square.

the old houses in Piazza San Fedele

Despite the rain, we had a great day in Como.  There is lots to do and see here and it was easy to spend the whole day in this lovely town.  The shopping is great and we barely touched on the numerous historical sights.

beside the lake on a better day


  1. I have been on Piazza San Fedele. I bought a swimming suit there!
    Thanks Debra,
    beautiful pictures like usual:)

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