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Discover Como – Architecture

Stadio Sinigaglia, home to Como 1907, was built in the same years as other masterpieces in town.
Let’s discover the architectural must-sees of this beautiful cityscape.

Architecture holds a privileged place in the history of Como, and this becomes even clearer when strolling through the stunning city streets. Between the two World Wars, one of the projects of Como architect Giuseppe Terragni, Casa del Fascio (1932), just behind the cathedral, becomes the symbol of the Italian rationalism movement. From the center, walking through the charming squares and streets with their traditional Italian restaurants and boutiques, we can head to the rationalism quarter up to Stadio Sinigaglia, home to Como 1907. On the way, at the apex of Diga Foranea, we can stop by Life Electric by starchitect Daniel Libeskind for a memorable souvenir photo or selfie in a spectacular Italian landscape. 

Como 1907’s Stadio Sinigaglia

The rationalism quarter

The rationalism movement brought great architects and artists to Como, whose works gave the city a distinctive character, made of essential lines with decorative elements expunged. At the side of the stadium, to our great surprise when turning around, is the magnificent Novocomum (1929), a project by architect Giuseppe Terragni. Novocomum – known as “Transatlantico” (ocean liner) due to its appearance reminiscent of a ship – is the first valuable example of Italian rationalism. 

From the rooftop, one has a privileged view of the mountains, the lake and its villas on the shores, and the stadium, built between 1925 and 1927. The stadium building keeps concrete-framed glass blocks from the original project from which a special light filters through on sunny days. 

Next to the stadium stands Monumento ai Caduti, dedicated to the soldiers who died during WWI. Urban visionary Antonio Sant’Elia’s design was the inspiration for the project. 

We only have to turn towards Brunate and its funicular, which takes tourists to a stunning village on top of the mountain with liberty villas, to catch a glimpse of an iconic monument, the Tempio Voltiano, whose image stood out on the 10,000 lire note until the introduction of the Euro. Tempio Voltiano houses Alessandro Volta’s scientific instruments, and it is the perfect place to grasp the grandeur of the most known physicist from Como, who invented the electric battery in 1800. The temple style is neoclassical, far from the lines of rationalism, but in flawless dialogue with the nearby monuments.

Monumento ai Caduti

Rationalism architecture in Como

To visit around Stadio Sinigaglia

Novocomum, viale Sinigaglia 1

Monumento ai Caduti, viale Puecher

Canottieri Lario, viale Puecher 6

Aeroclub Como, viale Masia 44

Casa Giuliani-Frigerio, viale Rosselli 24

To visit in town

Casa del Fascio, piazza del Popolo 4

Asilo Sant’Elia, via Alciato 15

Fontana di Camerlata, piazza Camerlata


If we move from here towards the town of Cernobbio, following the spectacular Villa Olmo promenade where we can smell the scent of flowers in spring, right behind Villa Olmo, we find the Hilton Lake Como Hotel, which opened in 2018 in an area that used to house a silk factory. The building is reminiscent of industrial architecture, with large windows and a rooftop with a swimming pool, offering a stunning panorama while drinking a cocktail. On the opposite shore of the lake, in Torno, is Il Sereno Hotel by architect and designer Patricia Urquiola, who reinterpreted Giuseppe Terragni’s Casa del Fascio in a contemporary manner. We can get to the hotel by boat after a lovely day of sailing.

To visit

Hilton Lake Como, via Borgo Vico 241, Como
Il Sereno, via Torrazza 10, Torno

Isola Comacina and their artists’ houses

Right in front of Ossucio’s shores is Isola Comacina, the only island on Lake Como. Here, in the first decades of the last century, Milan’s Brera Academy of Fine Arts promoted an experimental project for three stone houses by local architect Pietro Lingeri intended to host artists aiming at spending some time in an iconic and inspiring environment.

Isola Comacina, Ossuccio

Did you know…?

The first concrete building in Como is Politeama, designed by architect Federico Frigerio and built in 1910. Once a theatre and then a cinema, today it is awaiting renovation. Politeama is in Piazza Cacciatori delle Alpi 3, in the center of the town. We can visit it before taking an ‘aperitivo’ and having dinner in one of the elegant cocktail bars and restaurants in the historic town.