from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
coat of arms
Como (Italy)
Country Italy
region Lombardy
province Como  (CO)
Local name Comm
Coordinates 45 ° 49 '  N , 9 ° 5'  E Coordinates: 45 ° 49 '0 "  N , 9 ° 5' 0"  E
height 201  m slm
surface 37 km²
Residents 85,915 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density 2,322 inhabitants / km²
Factions Ponte Chiasso, Garzola, Sagnino, Monteolimpino, Tavernola, Camnago Volta , Lora, Prestino, Breccia, Rebbio, Civiglio, Muggió, Albate
Post Code 22100
prefix 031
ISTAT number 013075
Popular name Comaschi
Patron saint Abundius of Como ( August 31 )

Como (former German name: Chum ) is an Italian city with 85,915 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2019) in Lombardy and the capital of the province of Como . The city is located 45 kilometers north of Milan , on the lake of the same name and on the border with the canton of Ticino ( Switzerland ). Como is the largest city in the Swiss-Italian metropolitan region of Ticino , which has a total of more than 500,000 inhabitants.



Como lies at the foot of the Italian pre-Alps , at the southwest end of Lake Como , which divides into two arms ( Lago di Como and Lago di Lecco ) at the height of Menaggio to the south . Because the outflow of Lake Como, the Adda , leaves the lake near Lecco and the other arm of the lake has no outflow, the city almost becomes at times of snowmelt and particularly heavy rainfall, especially with north winds, which dammed the water against Como afflicted by floods every year. The city is conveniently located on the Milan - Zurich railway line and on the A9 autostrada, which continues in Switzerland as the A2 ("Gotthard motorway"), which has led to the settlement of many industrial companies.


Como usually has pleasant weather even in midsummer, because strong downwinds similar to the bora cool the place.


The area on the hills south of Lake Como had been showing since the 10th century BC. A dense village settlement. After a blooming phase in the 5th century BC. After the invasions of the Celts there was a decline. According to the older Cato , Comum (as the Romans called Como) was founded by the Orobier tribe . Justin states that Comum was founded by the Gauls after they had conquered northern Italy; however, Justin does not specify the relevant Gallic tribe in more detail. The settlement was only used once during the wars between Romans and Gauls in 196 BC. Mentioned when the consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus Comenses (name of the inhabitants of Comum) and the Insubrians defeated and conquered Comum. After the subjugation of Gallia cisalpina , a number of Roman settlers are believed to have settled in Comum. But these suffered damage again and again from incursions by the neighboring Raetians . Around 89 BC Chr. Sent Gnaeus Pompey Strabo considerably more settlers to Comum and made it a colony with Latin rights, which was soon reinforced on to another 3000 colonists. Gaius Iulius Caesar settled in 59 BC. 5000 more colonists, including 500 respected Greeks, in the city. This was now called Novum Comum . Shortly before the civil war between Caesar and Pompey broke out , Caesar's enemies tried to hit him by wanting to revoke Comum's privileged status as a colony under Latin law. After Caesar's successful advance into Italy, however, he awarded in 49 BC. BC the inhabitants of Comum together with those of the other communities of the Gallia Transpadana the Roman citizenship.

The city had been a municipium since Augustan times and was generally only called Comum. The place was wealthy; it had an important iron industry, and the shores of the lake were littered with mansions. It was the starting point for the crossing over the lake to get to the Splügen Pass and the Septimer Pass (see also Chiavenna ). Como was the birthplace of both Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger . The latter founded baths and a library here and donated money to support orphans. In the late Empire there was a praefectus classis Comensis , and Comum was considered a strong fortress . Even today, the city shows the planimetric floor plan of the Roman castrum . Remnants of the Roman enclosure wall run underground parallel to the medieval city walls that are still visible.

City and Lake of Como, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot , 1834

Como suffered considerably from the early Germanic invasions. Many of the inhabitants took refuge on Isola Comacina near Sala, but returned in the Lombard times. During this time the Magistri Comacini began to found a privileged guild of architects and stonemasons, which were also employed in other parts of Italy. Como then came under the rule of the Archbishops of Milan , but regained its freedom towards the end of the 11th century. At the beginning of the 12th century war broke out between Como and Milan and after ten years Como was captured and its fortifications razed in 1127. In 1154 it took advantage of the arrival of Friedrich Barbarossa and remained loyal to him throughout the war with the Lombards League. In 1169 Como devastated Isola Comacina , which Milan had fortified against Como. In 1183, like all Lombard municipalities , Como gained independence in the Peace of Constance . In the 13th century Como witnessed the bitter fighting between the Vittani ( Guelphs ) and the Rusconi ( Ghibellines ). After frequent battles with Milan, Como fell under the power of the Visconti from 1335 to 1447. After a short period of independence as Repubblica di Sant'Abbondio , Como submitted to Francesco Sforza , Duke of Milan in 1450 . In 1521 Como was besieged and sacked by the Spaniards and, like the rest of Lombardy, fell under Spanish rule. In the Peace of Rastatt Como came together with the area of ​​Milan in 1714 to Austria, later to the Cisalpine Republic, to the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy and again to Austria. In the Napoleonic era it was the capital of the Lario department. Its silk industry and its location at the entrance to the Alpine passes gave it some importance even there. Como contributed in the "Five Days" in March 1848 ( Cinque giornate ) together with Milan to the national uprisings against the Austrian garrison. In 1859, Como received Giuseppe Garibaldi after the victory of San Fermo as a liberator from Austrian rule.


Como cathedral with cathedral square
Villa Olmo Park and the Cathedral

Como Cathedral

Construction of the cathedral began in 1396; the facade dates from the second half of the 15th century, when the Renaissance had actually already begun. But this facade still clearly has Gothic features. One of the reasons for this is that northern Italy was much more under the German influence of the northern empire, and this is especially true of Como. In its architecture, Como had connections primarily to the Rhineland (S. Fedele).

The Lombardy is named after the Germanic tribe of the Lombards named. In Lombard architecture, the braided ribbons can be traced back to their influence. In addition, the Byzantine legacy from late antiquity also plays a role in Lombardy. On the cathedral facade you can see this old tradition on the four vertical bands that divide the facade into three fields.

On the basis of this Lombard braided ribbon and tendril motif of the early Middle Ages, the figurative and vegetable ornaments have also developed. This special decorative art of Lombardy has spread widely, up to Scandinavia . You can see these forms of jewelry here at Como Cathedral at the junction between the cathedral and the court hall. The decorative ribbons, which in their original form were filled with abstract motifs, are here filled with figures according to a very similar principle.

The plastic jewelry of the Como Cathedral was created by Tommaso Rodari and his brothers around 1500, who clearly belongs to the Renaissance. In order to protect the unusually high proportion of three-dimensional works of art on this facade from contamination, especially from the around 120,000 pigeons, a bar was placed in front of it, barely visible from afar.

On both sides of the main portal, unusual enough for a Christian church, two pagan writers are immortalized: Pliny the Elder and his nephew Pliny the Younger , who were born in Como in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. With this, a monument was erected to the two Roman writers and naturalists at the time of Italian humanism and at the same time the end of the “dark” Middle Ages was emphasized by depicting two non-Christians life-size on the facade of the city church.

In contrast to the facade, the choir area shows clear Renaissance forms. It was started again from 1513 by Tommaso Rodari. The domes were not completed until the 18th century. This makes Como Cathedral one of the many important churches that were built over the centuries, from 1396 to 1744.

San Fedele and the Dreikonchenchor

San Fedele is not far from the cathedral on the same street. This church was built in the late 12th century. It is difficult to recognize as such. It is flanked on both sides by residential buildings that are directly adjacent to the church. The facade was reconstructed in 1914.

San Fedele, floor plan
Town house from 1534 in front of San Fedele in Como

The significance of San Fedele for the history of architecture is about its unusual choir floor plan, which research has in part assumed to have its model in the important church of St. Maria in the Capitol of Cologne from the 11th century. And with this relationship of dependency between Cologne and Como, one would have proof of the unusual medieval relationship between this northern Italian city and the Rhineland. It's about the floor plan of the choir, a so-called three-conch choir , which was developed in Cologne at the beginning of the 11th century and which seems to pick up on San Fedele.

As far as this question is concerned, it could go even further, because San Fedele was built on the foundation walls of a Carolingian building that could possibly also have had such a three-conch choir, and Cologne would then perhaps be a copy of Como. However, this relationship is not generally accepted in research. For other parts of the research it seems much more likely that - provided that there is a connection at all - there is an inverse relationship, i.e. that Cologne will retain the rank of the foundation building for this choir solution in Como.

Relations between Lombardy and the Rhineland are very controversial. The likely solution is that there was a constant exchange of ideas and builders on the roads of the imperial trains to Italy. Up until the 11th century, Saxony and the Rhineland appeared to set the tone in architecture, while northern Italy took the lead in the 12th century. In order to clarify such questions, it is important to find out what the previous building of such a church looked like, and therefore excavations are sometimes carried out inside a church.

Some remains of the medieval decoration of the church are still preserved, and the most important work, the north portal, faces the street on which the cathedral is also located. On the far left Daniel is depicted in the lions' den, above Habakkuk with an angel. The winged animal on the right is partly interpreted as a fighting dragon, but sometimes also as a winged lion. Then this symbol would have apotrophic meaning, like many other demonic-looking beasts that were attached to medieval churches, especially on windows and doorways, to ward off invading spirits.


Sant'Abbondio is older than the cathedral. Their nave was built between 1065 and 1095, i.e. at the time of the Ottonians , when law and order had returned to northern Italy. The similarity to German Romanesque buildings is obvious. The ornamentation is strongly reminiscent of that of the Speyer Cathedral , which was built at the same time, so that one can speak of the same building school here. The two towers also point to Northern European models, because Italian churches at that time had campaniles, i.e. separate bell towers next to the church.

The interior, too, with its striking round pillars looks very un-Italian. His role models come from Tournus in France. The only typical features of Italy are the open roof structure and the absence of transepts. The reason for this striking adoption of models from northern Europe is that after the early Christian era, Italy initially became increasingly insignificant in architecture because it was too attached to its old tradition. Only when it encountered the north did northern Italy begin to stand out creatively.

The choir of this church was built over 100 years after the nave. His extensive fresco program dates from the middle of the 14th century. The themes of the fresco cycle are the life of Christ and that of the apostles Peter and Paul. In its technique and in its clear spatiality, this painting is reminiscent of the Giottos in Tuscany and Umbria , and these frescoes are actually attributed to a Sienese master who brought the new painting of Giotto and his students here to the north around 1350. Giotto himself had painted his famous arena chapel around 1305, also in the north of Italy, in Padua .

Monument to Alessandro Volta in Como
Museo Civico in Como

More Attractions

  • Ancient city wall
  • Historic city center
  • Pelandini house
  • Broletto
  • Villa Olmo
  • Tempio Voltiano (museum in memory of Alessandro Volta )
  • Passeggiata di Villa Olmo (connecting path on the south-western shore of the lake between Villa Olmo and Tempio Voltiano) with many villas that can be viewed from the outside
  • Casa del Fascio (1932/1936) (today: Casa del Popolo), architect: Giuseppe Terragni
  • Baradello Castle
  • Funicular Como – Brunate , funicular from Como to Brunate, a mountain village
  • Medieval Church of San Giacomo
  • Romanesque church of Santi Cosma e Damiano
  • Church of Santi Giuliano e Ambrogio
  • Church of Santi Filippo e Giacomo, in the Quercino district
  • Musei Civici in Palazzo Volpi
  • Monumento alla Resistenza europea = Monument to the European resistance.


Como's economic life is mainly based on tourism and industry . The city has, among other things, a world-famous silk manufacture.

The in 1940 of Toblach moved to Como electrical production company UNDA of Max Glauber was due to rapid expansion of production after the war in financial difficulties, was sold and definitely closed 1,962th


The city is right on the border with Switzerland; the border is in the immediately neighboring Swiss Chiasso .

Road traffic

Immediately north of Como, the A9 ( Autostrada dei Laghi ), whose Como-Nord exit is signposted as “ultima uscita per l'Italia” (last exit in Italy), continues beyond the Brogeda border crossing as the Swiss A2 .

Rail transport

Rail transport in Como

Como has three main and several smaller train stations. In addition to regional and S-Bahn trains from TILO (to Switzerland ) and Trenord (to Milan ), long-distance trains in the direction of Basel SBB / Zurich main station - Milano Centrale stop at the San Giovanni through station operated by RFI . In the city center is the Como Lago terminus , the second largest train station in Como. The train station is only a few meters from the lakeshore and is also the end point of the Ferrovienord . A regional train runs every half hour from the station to Milan Cadorna station . The third largest train station in the city, Albate - Camerlata , is located at the junction of the Chiasso – Milano and Como – Lecco lines . It is the end point of the cross-border S10 of the Ticino S-Bahn from Bellinzona . At the edge of the city center is the small through station Como Borghi , which is close to the main location of the University of Insubria . The fifth station in Como is the Como Camerlata through station .

Air traffic

The nearest airports are Milan-Malpensa , Bergamo-Orio and (in Switzerland) Lugano-Agno , all of which can be reached in around an hour. There is a landing pad for seaplanes in Lake Como .

Town twinning

Como has twinned cities with



Web links

Commons : Como  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Statistiche demografiche ISTAT. Monthly population statistics of the Istituto Nazionale di Statistica , as of December 31 of 2019.
  2. Hist. Lexicon d. Switzerland
  3. Cato the Elder in Pliny , Naturalis historia 3, 124.
  4. ^ Iustinus, Epitoma historiarum Philippicarum Pompei Trogi 20, 5, 8.
  5. Titus Livius , Ab urbe condita 33, 36f.
  6. Strabon , Geographika 5, p. 213.
  7. Cicero , Epistulae ad Atticum 5, 11, 2 and ö .; Catullus , Carmina 53; Appian , Civil Wars 2, Dec.
  8. ^ Appian, Civil Wars 2:26 ; Suetonius , Caesar 28; Plutarch , Caesar 29; Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum 5, 1, 1.
  9. Pliny, Naturalis historia 3, 124 and 3, 130f.
  10. Nikolaus Pevsner: European architecture from the beginning to the present. 3. Edition. Prestel, Munich 1973, ISBN 3-7913-0137-3 , p. 134.
  11. Pelandini house (photo)
  12. Casa del Popolo (photo)
  13. Medieval Church of San Giacomo (photo)
  14. ^ Romanesque church of Santi Cosma e Damiano
  15. ^ Church of Santi Giuliano e Ambrogio (photo)
  16. Church of Santi Filippo e Giacomo (photo)
  17. ^ Maria Letizia Casati: Scultura medievale per l'arredo liturgico a Como. Musei Civici, Como 2014.
  18. Location: . Aeroclub Como
  19. Como Seaplane Base at