Como was an important city until the Roman era, a stopping place on the Strada Regina or the Royal Road north which connected the Padana flatlands to the Oltralpe highlands. Today Como still retains its Roman castrum plan with its roads in a chess board pattern and its typical buildings and houses inspired by the Roman domus design.
Como's magnificent location, between the hills of Brunate and the lake, together with its splendid monuments, has made it an interesting place to visit for many years, as the prestigious villas prove. The city also has an important industrial past as well, and is known as the "silk capital" of Italy.
The city of Como is the capital of a province that spreads in many directions. In the north there is the Strada Regina, the mountain trails, the shores of Lake Como or sailing the hydrofoil boat that crosses the lake. To the south there is green Brianza, the centre of furniture design and workmanship, to the west there are the Lariani Mountains and their valleys where Fogazzaro set his famous novel "Malombra" and finally to the east is the small piece of land sitting between the two arms of Lake Como that has been a destination for visitors for years. The mountains whose slopes are reflected in the waters of the lakes are dotted with Romanesque architecture such as the Santa Maria del Tiglio church in Gravedona or the San Benedetto Abbey in Perlana Valley, lovely villas such as those in Bellagio and Cernobbio and many other places that often host international art and cultural events.
Como caters not only to art lovers - for those who prefer sports there is a vast choice of activities such as windsurfing on the lake, hang-gliding at Cornizzolo, golf courses and numerous trekking and cycling paths in the area. The city centre offers wonderful shopping and visitors can choose typical products, such as silk, from the numerous shops and boutiques in the city centre.
Como and the Como area offer a range of ideas and activities for every visitor who comes here.