Lake Como - Lombardy
Lake Como has been a prime vacation spot since before the Roman Empire. Also known as Lake Lario, Lake Como was the birthplace of Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger. Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the battery, was also born here, in 1745. Wordsworth, Shelley, and other authors would come to its shores for inspiration. At one time, Como was also famous for its silk manufacturing. Today, if you happen to be around on the last Saturday of any month, there is always a giant antiques market on the town's outskirts.
The town of Como is a good base for exploring the lakes region. You can easily take a paddleboat out on the lake, or catch a brief cruise. The Tempio Voltiano, right on the shore, dedicated to Alessandro Volta, and his tomb is nearby, at Camnago.
Como's Duomo was built and renovated from the 14th through 18th centuries, imbuing it with many different architectural styles, including baroque, Gothic, Renaissance, and more. It features sculptures of Old Testament scenes on its exterior. Another fantastic structure is the Basilica di San Fedele, a church built in the 6th century and renovated much more recently.
Meanwhile, two palaces in the village are home to the Museo Archeologico, which displays artifacts from ancient Roman times, and the Museo del Risorgimento. A beautiful park filled with statues, called Villa Olmo, also warrants a visit
Take a train to Piazzale San Gottardo, then walk down to the lakefront. There's also a funicular up the mountain to the settlement of Brunate, toward the northern edge of town.