The site where Como lies today was uninhabited until the foundation of the city by the Romans. Probably the nature of the terrain, covered as it was with swamps produced by the lake, the lake’s frequent flooding and the presence of three rivers (Cosia, Valduce, Fiume Aperto) discouraged any settlement by prehistoric man who lacked an adequate knowledge of hydraulic engineering. The first contacts between Como and Rome date from 196 B.C under Augustus, Como, or more exactly Novum Comum, reached its peak.
In Como as elsewhere, the history of the early Middle Ages was characterized by the emergence of Christianity and by the recurrent threat of barbarian raids of the Huns, led by Attila, and of the Goths and subsequently by Longobards. After their defeats by Charlemagne in Susa (773) and Pavia (774), the whole of northern Lombardy and Como fell under Frankish rule during which the local Church had great benefites. The Communes Age was characterized by recurrent struggles between Como and Milan which ended by the defeat of Como. After the very short French rule, Como was submitted to almost two centuries (1535-1713) of Spanish rule and after that under Austrian domination. After the Napoleoniac interlude, Como was not insensitive to the European and Italian revolutionary ferment of the first half of the 18th century, and after centuries of foreign rule, the city finally became a part of the new Italian Kingdom under the Savoy. In the 20th century - aside from the sad periods of the two World Wars, Como has been a prosperous town thanks mainly to the development of its dyeing and silk industries. These activities started at the turn of the century.
Como is nowadays the lively centre of the country, where history, art and culture live together with the development of industries and commerce. In this scenery the lake offers a landscape of rare beauty.
Como to see
From any direction one can reach Como, the first element that is immediately noticed, also from a certain distance, is the Baradello Castle wich dominates over Como and over the amphitheatre of the lake. The Baradello Tower the "Sentinel made of stone". Near the Tower is the Basilica of San Carpoforo. Among the churches: St. Fedele Basilica was built in XII century and it is unusual trilobate plan; . Giacomo church was built around the end of the XI century; Basilica di Sant Abbondio, the Duomo which date back to 15th century A.D. The city of Como still preserve three sides of medieval walls, that surround the historic centre of the city, many medieval buildings and villas, such as Rusca Palace and Broletto among the others.
© 2004 by Appianline