9 tips and sights for your short trip to Como

Are you longing for the spring sun? After T-shirt days, blooming gardens and sunny spots? Today’s travel tip can fulfill your wishes. We are talking about Como at the southwestern end of Lake Como.

The small Lombard town with its old town within walking distance is the perfect size for a weekend trip. It is easily accessible by train and offers numerous excursion opportunities in the area. And best of all, thanks to mild spring weather, most of life takes place outdoors at the end of March/beginning of April.

From our trip to Como, we brought back not only replenished vitamin D stores, but also tried and tested tips on sights, beautiful places and recommended restaurants. These can be found in the following lines.

Como Tip #1 Check in at Palazzo Albricci Peregrini

Fans of special boutique hotels and breakfast lovers will love Palazzo Albricci Peregrini (partner link). The hotel is located in the old town in a carefully restored 15th-century palazzo. The historical elements have been left in their original condition as far as possible. The ten rooms are of different sizes and individually designed. We stayed in the “Rosa” room, which has a rather narrow, elongated floor plan that doesn’t fit much more than the large bed. On the other hand, the bathroom with shower is all the more spacious in comparison.

But the real highlight of a stay at Palazzo Albricci Peregrini is the breakfast. On cool days, you can sit down at a rustic wooden table in the cellar vault of the palazzo. As soon as the temperatures allow, we serve outside (and yes, that was already the case with our case at the end of March).

The lovingly arranged individual courses of breakfast (juices, fruits, homemade bread, muesli, Lombard cheese, fresh pastries) are brought directly to the table. But not in such a way that everything is put on the table, but in such a way that you can choose what and how much of it you want. If you have the time and leisure for an extensive breakfast, the Palazzo Albricci Peregrini will delight you with the perfect start to your day of sightseeing!

The accommodation prices start at around 425 CHF per night in a double room including breakfast. This is not cheap – but in my opinion it is justified by the special location, the terrific breakfast and other benefits such as the free bicycles.

Como Tip #2 Toast to the weekend at Bar Il Cortiletto

We arrived in Como on Friday evening and after checking in at Palazzo Albricci Peregrini we started looking for an aperitif location. For this we first headed for the Piazza Alessandro Volta in the oldest part of the old town. The outdoor seating areas of the restaurants and bars located here were well filled, but none of the restaurants spoke directly to us. So we let ourselves drift further through the alleys.

A good decision: So we discovered the bar Il Cortiletto in a rather inconspicuous side street, where – so it seemed to us – mostly locals were stopping in. Olives, chips and crackers are served with the Negroni and Apérol spritz – for 14 euros. I would think that anyone who stops here for an aperitif is not doing anything wrong.

Nightlife in Como

Como Tip #3: Book a table at the rooftop restaurant Sottovoce

My third Como tip is aimed at all those who like rooftop bars and are looking for a more exclusive location. Because, admittedly, the Ristorante Sottovoce was not my first choice. Actually, we wanted to try the Feel Como. However, this had closed during the period of our stay due to renovation work. The Ristorante Sottovoce seemed to us an acceptable alternative. It is part of the luxury hotel Vista Lago di Como, located directly on the waterfront, and can be reached by lift.

We tried the four-course vegetarian menu for 110 euros – a high price for Como in a cross-comparison. But if you get hold of one of the six “front row” seats with a view of the lake on a warm summer evening, you are guaranteed to spend an unforgettable evening here.

Ristorante Sottovoce Como

More information about the Sottovoce | And here you can check out the Feel Como

Como Tip #4: Stroll through the old town of Como in the early morning

I count myself among the team of early risers. And since breakfast at Palazzo Albricci Peregrini is only served from 8:30 a.m., I used the early morning hours for a discovery tour through the old town. The alleys, which were still almost deserted at that time, quickly filled up with day-trippers from Ticino or the agglomeration of Milan.

My tour starts at the Porta Torre. The 40 m high fortress tower, built in the 12th century, is part of the former city wall. Clearly visible tourist guidance systems are installed at all sights. These are designed in such a way that they guide you to the sights in thematically structured city walks. An intuitive and entertaining way to get to know Como’s different facets.

Como Stadtturm
Fussweg Leitsystem Como

This morning I walk from Porta Torre via Pinacoteca Civica to Piazza San Fedele, where the basilica of the same name is located. For me one of the most beautiful places in Como.

Via Giovio and Via Vittoria Emanuele II, the route zigzags to the most imposing building in the old town – the Duomo. From here it is not far to the waterfront, where the boat landing stage is located. Including the way back to our accommodation, a 45-minute city tour, where you get a good overview of the sights of the old town.

Altstadt von Como
Dom Como
Morgensonne am Comersee

Como Tip #5: Walk along the waterfront to Cernobbio

After breakfast, we continue our walk where it ended in the morning – at the waterfront. We follow this in a westerly direction to the Volta Temple. The neoclassical building as well as the “Life Electric” sculpture by Daniel Libeskind, which can be reached via a pier, were both built in honour of Alessandro Volta. The physicist and inventor of the electric battery is one of Como’s best-known personalities.

Our walk continues along the waterfront towards Villa Olmo. On the way we pass the hangar of the Areo Club Como. It is one of the oldest seaplane airfields in the world, which is still in operation today. And yes, we actually observe two seaplanes taking off and landing.

Uferpromenade Como
Como Villa Olmo

From Como to Villa Olmo, the riverside path runs away from traffic through parks. If you want to walk to Cernobbio like we did, you have to follow the remaining 2.5 kilometers of the main road and share the narrow sidewalk with the bicycle traffic. Moderately attractive, but quite doable.

In Cernobbio we make a detour to the extensive park of Villa Erba. Like the park of Villa Olmo, it is open all year round and accessible free of charge.

Villa Erba in Cernobbio
Cernobbio Comersee

Cernobbio is also home to one of the most legendary hotels on Lake Como; the Villa d’Este. You can see them in the background of the photo we took of the lungolago. For us, however, it now goes into an inconspicuous side road branching off towards the Swiss border. This is where the Michelin-starred Ristorante Materia is located.

Chef Davide Caranchini combines his international experience with local products and a clear nose-to-tail philosophy. It is possible to dine à la carte or order a tasting menu (vegetarian for 85 euros or the “Revolution Revival” with a choice of 5, 7 or 12 courses (85 to 145 euros)).

A very creative menu, which sometimes challenged me quite a bit in terms of taste. For me, it was particularly too meat-heavy (my claim to a modern, sustainable cuisine is that a good balance between plant-based dishes and animal products is achieved even with non-purely vegetarian tasting menus). Davide Caranchini replied in conversation that this is seasonal and that he works 90% of the summer menu with vegetables and fish from Lake Como. If you visit the restaurant in the coming months and try the «Revolution Revival» menu, I would be happy to receive a short comment with your opinion.

More information about the restaurant: Ristorante Materia

Como Tip #6: Take a boat trip on Lake Como

From Cernobbio back to Como we take a scheduled boat. These run regularly (approx. every thirty minutes) and the timetables can be accessed via the Google route planner.

The journey takes less than 15 minutes and is accordingly entertaining. On nice days with a high number of visitors, however, it can happen that the small ships are already so full when they dock in Cernobbio that they cannot accommodate any more passengers.

Schifffhart von Cernobbio nach Como
Como Liebeskind Statue

My tip: If you visit Como in high season, I would recommend you to take the boat trip in the morning towards Cernobbio and then walk back to Como (or take the bus).

Up-to-date information (timetables, fares) can be found on the website. There you also have the possibility to buy tickets online (we have not tested how well this works in practice).

Como Tip #7: Hike from Brunate to Faro Voltiano

Another activity that is better planned in the morning or has enough patience when the weather is nice is to take the funicular to Brunate. The small community is located a good 500 meters above Como and offers a wonderful view. On a clear day, you can enjoy an impressive panoramic view from Milan’s skyscrapers to Lake Como and the snow-capped Alps.

The queue is correspondingly long! We queued for thirty minutes for the ascent. For the return trip we had to wait in line for a full hour. It also takes a good hour to walk.

Aussicht von Brunate Como
Vogelblick auf Como

I recommend that you combine the excursion to Brunate with a thirty-minute ascent along a well-signposted path to the viewpoint at Faro Voltiano. At the lighthouse, which was also built in honour of Alessandro Volta, you can enjoy a magnificent view down to Cernobbio.

Brunate Wanderung
Vogelblick auf Cernobbio
Aussicht vom Faro Voltiano

The funicular ride costs 6.10 euros (roundtrip) | It runs from 6:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. every quarter of an hour | You can find more information here:

Como Tip #8: Enjoy traditional Lombard cuisine in a wine bar

For the second evening in Como, we followed the recommendation of our hostess at Palazzo Albricci Peregrini and reserved a table at Ristorante Rivenoteca. The family-run wine bar scores with a large selection of wines by the glass. The menu includes regional specialities. Perfect for those who want to enjoy simple but good Lombard cuisine at a fair price.

More information: | Wine per glass from 6 euros | Antipasti from 12 euros | Risotto & Pasta from 18 euros

Como Tip #9: Discover the Buildings of Italian Rationalism

In Como, there are not only medieval buildings to visit. One of the city walks is dedicated to the era of Italian rationalism (1924 to 1942). These include, for example, the Mercato Coperto di Como, which is located close to Porte Torre. Here, too, you will be guided to the corresponding buildings following the guidance system. Recommended because you will get to know a few other facets of Como on the way.

Stadtspaziergang in Como
Mercato Como

The most important questions about your city trip to Como:

What country/region is Como located in?

Como is located not far from the Swiss border in the Italian region of Lombardy.

How tall is Como?

Como is a small town with around 85,000 inhabitants. The train station, the old town and the waterfront are within walking distance of each other.

How much time should I allow for a trip to Como?

It is worth allowing at least two – even better three – days. Especially if you want to visit other small towns on Lake Como: The highlights of Como can also be easily explored in one day.

Is Como one of the most beautiful cities on Lake Como?

If you are looking for the most beautiful places on Lake Como, you will come across the towns of Bellagio, Varenna and Menaggio far more often than Como. And even though Como can’t quite keep up, I really liked the old town of Como. Another big advantage is that the other villages on Lake Como can be visited very well by boat from Como.

What is the best way to travel to Como?

I recommend travelling by public transport. From Zurich, for example, there are direct train connections every two hours, with which you can reach Como after a good 2.5 hours of train travel without changing trains. Don’t forget to book a seat reservation ticket.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *