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Top Rated Attractions in Como

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Villa del Balbianello

You must have seen it in Star Wars (although they tweaked it to make it look extraterrestrial). Daring back to the late 18th Century C.E., the Villa del Balbianello is one of the most beautiful places in the country, as it would be almost impossible to find a dreamy house like this one that is set in the background of the pristine blue waters. The perfect landscape with its fringe of little trees completes the picturesque view. Walk into the villa to be further spellbound by its charming interiors: the wooden paneling, the beautiful spiral staircase and the tasteful furniture and furnishings render it a look of opulence which is not devoid of warmth. There is also a museum that exhibits numerous pictures, artifacts and other details about the Villa.

Lake Como

One of the largest lakes in Italy, Lake Como sits between alpine-dotted shores in a milieu of deep-set idyll. It is fed by the river Adda and 36 smaller rivers and makes up one of Lombardy's most beautiful spots. Shaped like an upside-down "Y", it features three distinct sections: Colico stretching to the north with its mountainous and varied shores, Lecco spreading to the east with its bare, rocky foreshore and the arm of Como featuring gentle, green banks. Historically, the lake has been a place of transit since ancient times, while it also forms a heavenly retreat for modern-day luxury travel. Crowding its shoreline is a bevy of historic landmarks, including Villa D'Este at Cernobbio, the ancient church on Comacina island, and Villa Carlotta at Tremezzo. Far from prying eyes, Lake Como is also the favored spot of several celebrity homes belonging to Gianni Versace, George Clooney, Madonna and Ronaldinho.

Basilica of Sant'Abbondio

The Basilica of Sant'Abbondio began its construction in 1063 and was consecrated in 1095 by Benedictines. A masterpiece of Romanesque architecture, it was built on the site of a paleo-Christian church dedicated to the Santissimi Apostoli and since 818 to San Abbondio, the fourth bishop of Como who died in 489. The church underwent numerous transformations and was brought back to its original state by a series of restorations which began at the beginning of the second half of the last century. It is a unique example of Romanesque architecture in Italy because of its direct dependence on models from beyond the Alps. The elegant facade, has five parts with three, central windows and arched frames. There are two bell towers, the left of which is a reconstruction of the tower in 1863, by Serafino Balestra as the original was destroyed in 1555. There are five naves inside and the walls have no decoration. The choir vault and the high, cylindrical pillars betray their Nordic origin and lend the structure an unusual vertical thrust. The apse part is illuminated by splendid frescoes depicting the life of Christ.

Museo Archeologico Paolo Giovio

Located in Palazzo Giovio, Museo Archeologico Paolo Giovio is a popular archaeological museum in Como. The museum is renowned for taking the visitors through the history of Como right from pre-historic times to the middle ages. The artifacts in this museum are up-to-date, making is a reliable archaeological museum.

Menaggio

Menaggio is a prominent tourist attraction located on the western shore of Lake Como in Italy. Due to its proximity to the lake, it is well known for its resorts and golf clubs especially during the summer which is the peak season. The town organizes events which are also very popular and programs such as “The Guitar Festival” draw in people from all over.

Como Cathedral

The Duomo di Como's construction began in 1396 and was completed in 1730, with the creation of the splendid dome by Filippo Juvarra. It was destroyed in a fire in 1935 and completely rebuilt with the help of the architect's original designs. This is one of the most interesting local buildings from the Renaissance era. The Cathedral was built above the old Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, which remained in use during the long construction work. The construction involved a long series of local modifications and renovations, including two spans of the Broletto which were knocked down, the Palazzo Pretorio was destroyed and the Church of San Giacomo was made smaller. The result is a splendid work, with a transept contained in the naves and circular apses in gothic tradition as well as numerous, Renaissance-inspired elements. The late gothic facade with Renaissance elements was designed by Fiorino da Bonta between 1455 and 1486 and boasts a notable, sculpture decoration which is mostly the work of Giovanni Rodari and his sons (15th-16th Century). The interior is a Latin cross shape divided into three naves with pillars and has notable works of art including tapestries from the 16th Century by Florentine and Flemish artists and splendid paintings by Bernardino Luini, Gaudenzio Ferrari and Tommaso Rodari.

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