During your time in Como, stop by the Piazza Vittoria to see historic architecture and a statue of a legendary Italian military leader.
At the heart of the piazza is an impressive sculpture of the Italian general and politician Giuseppe Garibaldi. He was a major figure in the country’s history and the monument is a tribute to his victory at the Battle of San Fermo. During this short conflict in 1859, his forces drove an occupying army of Austrian soldiers out of Como. This century-old statue was designed by Swiss-born sculptor Vincenzo Vela and replaced a sculpture of Francis I of Austria, which was destroyed after the unification of Italy.
Take time to admire the elegant buildings that surround the square, characterized by soft hues, shuttered windows and wrought iron balconies. Go up to the tall stone tower located opposite the square’s northern edge, part of Como’s old 12th-century city walls. There is a nice photo opportunity from the middle of the square, when you stand behind the statue of Garibaldi and include the tower with the hilltop village of Brunate in the background.
Stroll south from the square along Via Milano, where colorful houses double up as hotels, shops and restaurants. Stop for a break at a café or take in the views of the lake and its hills from one of the benches on the square.
Situated just outside of Como’s medieval walls, Piazza Vittoria is a 5-minute walk from Piazza Cavour and the Lake Como waterfront. Public buses stop at the square and metered street parking is available close by. While here, you might want to visit the nearby attractions. Pick up additional insights into the importance of Garibaldi’s contributions to Italy at the Garibaldi History Museum. Learn about the area’s ancient past at the Paolo Giovio Archaeology Museum and study medieval and renaissance art at the Civic Art Gallery.