With its breathtaking view, Como is a jewel-like oasis of tranquility, a magical combination of lush Mediterranean foliage and snowy alpine peaks.
As the nearest resort to Milan and on the main road into Switzerland, it is understandably a popular stopping point for many travelers.
Apart from tourism, the main industry is a rarefied one: Como is the main silk-supplier for Milan's fashion designers.
If you have time to spare, the old town is an interesting place to wander or eat, and has great views across the lake. It’s also a transport hub for the lake's many attractive resorts.
The little lakeside park there is set around a curious temple, now the Museo Alessandro Volta, dedicated to the pioneer in electricity who gave his name to the volt.
The Villa Olmo, an eighteenth-century Neoclassical pile in magnificent grounds, is beautifully illuminated at night. The gardens are sometimes open to the public.
Next door, the splendid Duomo was begun at the end of the 14th century but wasn't completed until the 18th, when the cupola was added. The second of Como's churches, the Romanesque Sant'Abbondio, left on Via Regina from the main train station, was built in the 11th century.