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En route to the train station for our departure from Como, we paused to consider this impressive sculpture of two hands. What was its significance?
Only recently did I get around to researching it, and I found the answer on Leigh McAdams' "Hike Bike Travel" web page. McAdams' rough translation of its plaque reads: "One hand is actively serving the country in defense of institutional values. The other hand is wounded in the line of duty."
Link to article: http://hikebiketravel.com/11874/travel-photo-thursday-hands-sculpture-como-italy/
Written Mar 22, 2013
I arrived just after new year and there were still a few Christmas stalls in the centre with interesting Italian Christmassy items and produce from the locality - always makes an interesting cultural thing to do to take a look and see whats on offer - and always makes some interesting photo opportunities
Written Nov 18, 2011
Address: Como town centre
The great thing about old, European cities is that they are so totally different, so special that you might feel as though you are in a time warp. Sometimes it's difficult for your mind to absorb this different universe, this different life ... maybe a way of life that you'd like to try. In fact, all the places I have visited in Italy have given me that feeling.
Though Como is a very small town, it has more than its fare share of piazzas or squares not to mention the scenic lakeside promenade. Sometimes trying to see all the sights isn't really seeing at all. One of the small, sidewalk cafes in some narrow passage gives an excellent viewpoint from which to "study" the life in Como. Do a little shopping and people watching from the quaint markets and plazas here to really see Como. You'll find that perhaps the towns around Lago di Como have a slightly cosmopolitan feel.
Updated Aug 14, 2011
The beauty of Lake Como is best appreciated from the water and a variety of boats run regularly between Como and other pretty lakeside towns. On the way you can admire gorgeous villas of the rich and famous.
In my opinion, the most picturesque of the towns is Varenna and if you go out of season, you can virtually have the place to yourself. Stop for lunch at one of the little restaurants right on the lakeside.
When you've seen Varenna, take another short boat ride across the lake to Menaggio, which is also very pretty and an ideal place to have a walk along the lakeside promenade, wander round the little shops and enjoy a coffee at one of the cafes.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Bellagio is one of the best known tourist towns on Lake Como and is easy reached by boat from Como town. In October, when I visited, there were only a couple of coach parties in town so I was able to enjoy it without the crowds.
The main town is full of little cobbled streets, lined with small shops (many of them souvenir shops) and numerous cafes but it's situation at a bifurcation of Y-shaped Lake Como means there's more to the place than immediately meets the eye.
If you walk out of the main centre, up into the 'interior' and down the other side, it takes you to a beautiful place on the other fork of the lake and I don't think the coach parties discover it. It's very tranquil and a joy to walk around but as it's mainly residential, take a drink with you.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
If you have the time, take the funicular railway up to Brunate, a little village resting on the top of the mountain with splendid views of Como and beyond to the Swiss Alps. For those passionate about hiking, you can walk along the top of the mountain ridge between Como and Bellagio, still with splendid views, and rest at one of the many retreats.
It is worth going up simply for the panorama, but if you are interested by science or history there is a curiosity on this mountain:
On the top of the mountain, overlooking the inland Lake Como, there is a lighthouse!! (this struck me as rather strange!) which you can walk up to. It was built in honour of Alessandro Volta (there is also a "temple" or museum dedicated to him in the park by the lake, near the football stadium).
Volta is famous for inventing the battery, and gave his name to the volt (for his biography see www.tin.it/alessandrovolta/inglese/alevol/vita/vita1.html )
The other website listed below gives more information and good pictures, although the site itself is in Italian.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Brunate, Como, Italy
Alessandro Volta was an important man of his day and should be of ours too. He is credited with inventing the battery and also messure of electricity, hence the word "volt." Como, appropriately, has placed a somber statue of the man in a square of his own, Piazza Volta. "Tempio Voltiano" is an architectural temple housing some of his early apparatus among marble columns and mosaic floors.
Updated Mar 28, 2011
One of the two most recognizable buildings in Como, the Basilica di San Fedele, is located in the center of the old, walled city. The Romanesque-style church is situated on the former sight dedicated to Santa Eufemia, but was renamed San Fedele when the remains of the martyr were buried there.
Behind the basilica on the Piazza Medagalie d'Oro is the Palazzo Giovio that is today the home of the Archaelogical Museum of Como.
A street market was being held in the piazza in front of basilica on the Saturday I was there with the towns people selling crafts and other small souvenirs. Unfortunately, the lack of time prevented me from taking a long look at all the offerings.
Updated Mar 28, 2011
Keep an eye out for unusual foilage, flowers, plants - I'm betting you find something you've not seen before.
These berries grace the wall outside the little studio where we stay. My nephew doesn't know their name but he says the Italians make a particular liqueur with them. Your input would be welcome........
VT friend, Pawtuxet advises that this is Pokeberry - birds eat it - we don't - further, that Pokeberry ink was used to write the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
Thank you, Janet!
Updated Oct 7, 2009
The Volta Lighthouse is standing on a hill in San Maurizio, 150 metres above Brunate. From Brunate you can follow a walking path up to the lighthouse and it takes less than 30 minutes to walk there.
When I visited the lighthouse was closed. Otherwise you can pay an admission and climb to the top of the lighthouse for wonderful views over the Alps and the surrounding lowland. Even if the lighthouse is closed you will get some great views down on Cernobbio and the valley towards Switzerland and the Alps.
The lighthouse was built in memory of Alessandro Volta (who developed the first electrical cell) and was designed by the engineer Gabriele Giussani. It opened up in 1927 on the 100-year anniversary of Voltas death.
Written Mar 6, 2009
Ostello Villa Olmo Como
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