Top choice in Como

Como’s awesome marble-clad cathedral is one of the most important buildings on the lake, incorporating a variety of styles – Romanesque, Renaissance and Gothic topped by a rococo cupola – over its centuries-long construction between 1396 and 1770. Inside, Renaissance chapels flank a wide cross-vaulted nave, which is hung with huge tapestries woven in gold thread in Ferrara, Florence and Antwerp. Statues of Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger adorn the facade, an unusual honour for two humanist philosophers.

A comprehensive historical timeline inside tracks the church and its forerunners from early Christian antiquity to present-day restoration.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Como attractions

1. Broletto

0.01 MILES

The polychromatic Broletto, or medieval town hall, sits right beside Como's towering duomo. Unusually, it butts right up against the cathedral and is very…

2. Basilica di San Fedele

0.17 MILES

Hemmed in by houses these days and enclosing one side of what was once a medieval grain market, this Lombard Romanesque basilica dates back to the 7th…

3. Pinacoteca Civica

0.31 MILES

Despite its inadequate labelling, Como’s art gallery has a sizeable collection with some rich pickings. Most interesting are the frescoes and sculpture…

4. Porta Torre

0.37 MILES

The southern gate in Como's defensive walls, bordered by a 40m 12th-century tower.

5. Tempio Voltiano

0.43 MILES

The photogenic lakeside Tempio Voltiano was built in 1927. This neoclassical temple is now a museum devoted to Como-born ­electric-­battery inventor…

6. Monumento ai Caduti

0.51 MILES

This monument to Italy's WWI war dead is a classic example of fascist-era architecture and dates to 1931.

7. Basilica di Sant'Abbondio

0.67 MILES

About 500m south of Como’s city walls is this austere 11th-century Romanesque church, once the seat of a bishopric built on the orders of St Amantius of…

8. Passeggiata Lino Gelpi

0.71 MILES

One of Como's most charming walks is the lakeside stroll west from Piazza Cavour. Passeggiata Lino Gelpi leads past the Monumento ai Caduti, a 1931…