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Como: all crazy for Lario!

Manzoni was the first, among the greatest Italian novelists ever. Then Don Abbondio’s cloth, one of the main characters of “The Bethrothed”, a novel that gave the immortality to its author, afterwards it was replaced with the brands from the jet set and the national and international Vips.

“Quel ramo del lago di Como” (that branch of the lake of Como…) is a glamour destination where the mansions of famous people are located and they are listed among the main attractions of the area: mainly built in the Neo-classical period, surrounded by parks and botanic gardens, they are a concentrate of history that is melted with the present in the residences inhabited by the contemporary celebrities. Como stands out; it has been looking out onto the lake for more than two thousand years, the lake is its main door – today as well as in the XIXth century – when it started to welcome its International tourists - piazza Cavour is the core of the town, with the ferries and the hydroplanes that dock among palaces dating back to the XIXth and the XXth century.

Before the water and within the medieval walls, the historical centre reminds the Roman orthogonal chessboards, made of the urban centre surrounded by viale Varese, viale Cattaneo, viale Battisti, viale Nazario Sauro and the imperfect straight line that connects piazza Cacciatori delle Alpi with Piazza Roma. The old historical and religious centre is focused on piazza del Duomo, whose importance is featured by the Broletto dating back to the XIIIth century – with its peculiar white, grey and red marble stripes – and the cathedral, dedicated to S. Maria Maggiore featuring a typically gothic facade. Opposite to the entrance of the Council House there is the Church of S. Fedele, in the square that took its name, it has a medieval taste and it is surrounded by a number of houses from the Renaissance. In the XVth century the city planning mixed with the history of silk – the famous “gold thread” thanks to Ludovico il Moro’s foresight who forced the peasants to plant mulberries.

Nowadays the town is the National capital of silk and you’ll understand the whole history at the Educational Silk Museum, the only one in Europe that explains the whole cycle. On the other hand, at the Textile Museum – the Antonio Ratti’s Foundation, more than 4.000 samples of ancient silk, velvet, brocade and damask fabrics coming from all around the world are kept.

And the International visitors can also admire the amazing landscape even by flying the hydroplanes: actually the town hosts Europe’s only hydroplanes pilot school since 1913 thus offering the chance to discover the beauties of the lake from the height. Besides the architectural icons, the area is an art treasure too: the lake and the villages that surround it are all different although sharing a common feature, they are “lariane”: in Como, Cernobbio, Moltrasio, Tremezzo, Bellagio, Menaggio and also on the Comacina Island – the only island in the lake Como, the history and the literature have built the landscape. All around, the mountains’ tops and the cluttered development of its branches, with opposite banks facing each other and drawing views that are always different.

Luciana Francesca Rebonato

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