The city from the center of Villa Olmo
- Davide Bareggi
- Comments are off
Piazza Cavour is the starting point for an itinerary which allows us to capture some particular aspects of the city and the symbiotic relationship it always entertains with its lake. In ancient times this space, now a vast square with a modern character, was the commercial harbor. From here the view of the first basin of the lake is spectacular. Walking along the left side of the lake, you see the public gardens. In this area there are monuments from the modern-age.
The Monument to the European Resistance is formed by stairways and big metallic plates on the top of which there are engraved phrases by people deported during the war. At the end of the way is the Voltiano Temple. This classical white building, built in 1927 for the centenary of Alessandro Volta’s death, preserves documents, letters and the instruments that the famous scientist used for his studies. The collection includes an example of the famous electric torch. Near the Tempio Voltiano we can find the Monumento ai Caduti (War Memorial) built by Giuseppe Terragni in 1933 on a design by Antonio Sant’Elia, A little further over is the Sinigaglia Stadium built in 1927. At the crossing between the Sinigaglia and Vittorio Veneto streets, there is the important rationalist masterpiece by Terragni called Novocomum. An apartment block ironically baptised “the Transatlantic” by the citizens of Como. Walking again along the lake you reach the Aero Club Como, one of the last harbor for active hydroplanes in Italy. Here begins the walk towards Villa Olmo. Along the promenade there are many magnificent villas. Villa La Rotonda, designed by the famous neoclassical architect Leopold Pollack, has a magnificent lounge with precious ornamental plaster work. Villa Gallia was built in 1600 and has a magnificent frescoed hall. Villa Parravicini is characterised by a precious kettledrum. Villa Mondolfo is made up of two buildings connected together by an elegant veranda. The walk ends at the gates of Como’s most famous neoclassical house, Villa Olmo. The Villa was built at the end of the eighteenth century for the Odescalchi family, designed by the famous neoclassical architect, Simone Cantoni. Recently used for important temporary exhibitions, in the course of its history has hosted personalities like Napoleon and Garibaldi. Inside a splendid eighteenth-century theater. In those years the villa is the subject of important restoration work aimed at further enhancing their beauties and botanical heritage.