Walled city and surroundings
- Davide Bareggi
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In the principal square, the Piazza del Duomo, the Broletto rises, an antique town hall built in 1200, in white, grey and pink marble with stones from the Lake Como quarries. In the same century, besides the elegant arcade the town’s bell-tower was built.
The Duomo was built between the end of 1300 and the mid 1700s and it is a fusion of different architectural styles: starting from the late Gothic period with the structure up to the Renaissance style of the façade. The façade statues, principally designed by the Rodari Brothers, are astonishing. Very famous are the two podiums representing the two renowned Como citizens, Plinio the Young and Plinio the Old, who lived in the Roman era. Just a few steps separate
the Duomo from the neoclassical theatre of the town, designed by the architect Cusi in the 1800’s.
Behind the Duomo is the ex “Casa del Fascio”.Masterpiece of the rationalist architect GiuseppeTerragni, built between 1932 and 1936 is considered one of the main symbol of modern architecture.
Continuing on into the historic city centre there is the medieval square of San Fedele. Overlooking the square is the San Fedele basilica, built in the tenth century on a former Christian church.The chatedral is an example of pure Romanesque style.Piazza San Fedele also hosts two characteristic houses of the 1500’s, with a typical wooden structure.
At the edge of the old city is the Porta Torre, found in the centre of the powerful wallswhich Federico Barbarossa founded it in the twelfth century. In the same period was built the Castle Baradello. Situated in a dominant position at the entrance of te town is one of its symbols. Clearly visible from the city center requires a hike of a few hours to be reached.Outside the walls, along theancient Roman Via Regia, is the gem of Como’s Romanesque period, the Sant’Abbondio church.
The basilica was built by the Benedictine monks in 1013. The sequence of frescoes which adorn the apse with episodes of The Life of Christ, is magnificent, a masterpiece of the 1300’s by an anonymous artist.
Following along the slope of the hill, there is the ancient church of San Carpoforo. This church has an unusual structure with a raised presbytery and crypt which contains San Felice’s bones.