By Antonio Malara
In people mind Como is a fairy tale place, the image we see of villas right on the lake, surrounded by the high mountains that are vertical on the water. A place that can inspire love, creativity and sweet things. Everyone saw it on magazines or movies, tv and of course the net.
Como is another Italian cliché a must see place. The reality in not different, Como is actually what is seems, a perfect place for a romantic trip. I don't know if the woman who choose this location for our trip had this in mind, but the fact was that I had un unfaithful affair, and for us Como has been definitely something savage rather than romantic. Of course I'm not going into the details of the story but just my impressions about this place.
I get to Como by train from Milan, it's not a long trip. The hotel was in the center, near one of the main square. I have to say that the city is really nice, like all the cities when you can reach the main places by walking. In Como has everything is close, even the soccer stadium is in the city center. You never get lost walking on the tiny streets, it's a pleasure to discover the big square coming from a small way. In Como there's a nice old architecture, I remember lots of cool buildings and then the beautiful cathedral. Built in the 14th century is in gothic style, it's really impressive but the square in front it extends in length so you don't have lot of space in front of the cathedral. This thing is good from one side to admire the duomo you're always under it (looks like if is ready to fall on you) but at the same time you can't have a large view of it, like in the Milan duomo.
I like small cities because I can find everything just in one step, Como is like this, from restaurants to bar, pharmacy, market, all this is just close. It's when you move to the promenade that you see the masterpiece of the lake. You can walk on the river making a "C", from the center where is full of restaurants with a view, walking to west you see the iconic villas, and keep walking you end up on to “Villa Olmo”. This was a big residence of an ancient aristocratic family, now belongs to the city and it’s used mostly for expositions. From here you can have one of the best view on the lake. All along the promenade there are lots of activities that you can do on the lake and in the small port you can find the ferries to get the other cities like Bellagio. The restaurants on the lake are beautiful but what I noticed is that they were all empty, maybe because they work more on the week end.
Another good thing to do in Como is to get the Brunate through the funicular. This small town is right on top of the mountain, in fact from the lake you can see it. The funicular station is on the right of the lake with a beautiful old sign. I think that was my first time on a funicular and it was pretty funny especially when we passed beside the other train that was going down.
Brunate is an old “borgo” with really small streets and old but renovated houses. Just a few steps away from the center you can see “the other great villas”. This one instead of being on the lake, are right on top of it. Unfortunately you can only imagine the view they have because you can access inside. Those villas belongs to rich people from the big cities like Milan, so for most of time they are uninhabited during the winter. After you leave behind you back one of last house finally the view is open even for pedestrians. There are
different corners when you can have a breathtaking view. I remember we stopped in a corner where you can literally dominate the lake and the city. It's cool how you can see the lake in two versions, from bottom and from the top. Same place different perspectives. The last beautiful view is thanks to the funicular inclination when you get back. You have unreal and always different perspectives while you go down and it's really cool for photo!
Definitely Como is a city for people who's in love (not for lovers) it's a unique beautiful place, when you can have the best time with your partner, dining, walking, dreaming. Personally even if I was a bad boy there, I still have nice memories, maybe I live in my own world of feelings but I can't be mad about relationships that ends. I like to live again some moments just thinking about it. Im glad I had this opportunity to visit the Como in this way even if I don't have any news since then about the person who shared the time with me.
Photo: Antonio Malara
Camera: Nikon D70s jpeg files edited in camera raw