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Hotels in Como

Situated in the historic Lombardy region of Italy, Como boasts the beautiful Lake Como with the transcendent Alps as its dramatic backdrop. This popular city and its surroundings feature an abundance of natural beauty and stunning architecture to admire. Lakeside walks provide an array of picturesque views on which you'll appreciate the countryside and ancient architecture, including sumptuous villas dating back to Roman times.

Arts and culture

You'll find a number of outstanding churches including the Romanesque Basilica di San Fedele, which resembles a clover leaf due to its three apses and three naves. Visit on a Saturday and you'll be able to browse the market that takes over the facing piazza. Here you can examine antiques and buy locally produced arts and crafts.

Arguably the city's most important sight, and certainly its most dramatic, Como Cathedral's construction straddled five centuries, beginning in 1396 and ending in 1740. Several influences are reflected in the look of this imposing edifice, principally Gothic and Renaissance.

Como is the birthplace of celebrated writers Pliny the elder and his nephew Pliny the Younger who, between them, took a range of posts including lawyer, philosopher, provincial governor, military commander, politician and judge. The mantle of author can be added to this impressive tally of roles, and Pliny the Younger's The Epistulae is noteworthy for its descriptions of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD.

The 19th-century writer and poet Alessandro Manzoni, born in nearby Milan, is perhaps best known for his exciting novel I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed). You can visit the places he describes so vividly, including Acquate, which is home to the book's love-struck protagonists, Renzo and Lucia.

Restaurants and cafés

Nestled in the hills of Lake Como is the sophisticatedly bohemian Il Gatto Nero. Decorated with quirky art, this warm, wood-panelled restaurant provides a romantic setting, particularly in the evenings when tables are illuminated by candlelight. This beguiling eatery possesses a terrace from which you'll enjoy enchanting views of the lake below.

Close to Piazzetta de Orchi you'll find La Vita è Bella, a cosy restaurant where the service is warm and the salads are a speciality.

Bars, clubs and music

The majority of bars can be found within the Como hotels and restaurants and so aren't necessarily apparent at first sight, but are well worth seeking out. One such place is the Grand Hotel Tremezzo which, to this day, maintains the impeccable décor and service traditions of its early 20th-century beginnings, when it welcomed the rich and famous through its doors.

There are a number of standalone bars and clubs, from Bar Gabbiano Menaggio, with its celebrated ice cream, to Bar Tana Menaggio, a magnet for the bright young things of Como where DJs spin the latest club sounds.

Shopping in and around Como

If your credit card can bear it, there's a cornucopia of small shops and boutiques including the classic chic of Max Mara and the high-end couture of Tessabit.

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