Como was founded by the Romans and was the birthplace of Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the battery whose name is attached to the unit of electrical potential. The Romans already praised the beautiful surroundings of Como: not only the wonderful lake, but also the impressive surrounding mountains.
The city has approximately 90,000 inhabitants.
Until the eighties of the last century Como was famous for the lace that was produced here. This industry has practically disappeared because of the competition from China. Many inhabitants of Como earn their money in Milan. Tourism is a major source of income for Como.
Milan's two airports, Malpensa and Linate, are the nearest airports. They are reachable in about one hour by rental car via the Autostrada. Malpensa is possibly your best choice as you will not have to cross the busy traffic around Milan from this airport.
Como has good public transport. Urbani buses run only within the city limits; Extraurbani also to the suburbs. The so-called C lines connect Como with several surrounding destinations, including Milan. There's also a funicular (funicolare) to the village of Brunate at an altitude of 715 meters and there are several ferry connections with places around Lake Como.
Everyone who's ever been to Italy knows that Italians drive fast and quite aggressively. Once used to their driving style, you'll have no trouble finding your way around Como and in the surroundings. Finding a free parking place in the city center can be difficult, although not as bad as in the busiest tourist centers around Lake Como. There are several parking garages; their locations are signposted. Bear in mind that some roads around Lake Como are extremely narrow.
Como has a good choice of accommodations ranging from basic guesthouses (Albergo) to luxury hotels. Most of them can be found in the city center, directly on the lake, and in Cemobbio, just north of Como on the other side of the Breggia River. There are, of course, also holiday resorts and campsites along the entire Lake Como.
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