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Lake Como museums

There are a number of museums around Lake Como. There should certainly be something to meet everyone’s tastes and interests whether it’s art, nature, sport, science, history or even transport.

San Siro Museum, Milan

Perfect for fans of football, the San Siro museum is dedicated to both Inter Milan and AC Milan. It tells the story of the two clubs through various memorabilia from football strips to the cups and trophies and footballs. The entrance to the museum is from gate 14 of the San Siro stadium. It’s possible to visit the museum as well as enjoy a tour of the stadium itself. It’s open every day from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. with possible variations on match days and days of events.

Silk Museum, Como

Como is known as the ‘silk city’ and has been producing silk since the 19th century. This silk museum occupies a former silk factory and has been filled with displays of machinery, equipment, documents and samples from Como’s primary industry – silk production.

Civic Museum, Setifico Monti

Again, this is a museum devoted to silk production. Divided into two buildings, one houses a working spinning machine whilst the other the spinning mill. The museum is open to the public on Wednesdays from 9.30 – 12.00 and from 3-6, on Fridays from 3-6 and on Sundays from 9.30 – 12.30. Members of the public can telephone to make a reservation to see the museum at other times.

Volta Temple, Como

The museum celebrates the life and work of Count Alessandro Volta, who was born and lived in Como for much of his life. It’s certainly not a museum for children and would really recommend it only for the keen physicist.

Civic Art Gallery, Como

Open Tuesday to Saturday from 9.30 to 12.30 and from 14.00 to 17.00. On Wednesday it is open all day from 9.30 until 17.00 and on Sundays from 10.00 until 13.00. Closed Mondays.

Guzzi Motor Museum, Mandello del Lario

Guzzi have been building motorbikes since the 1920s and, from the early days to modern times, the company has had a central role in motorcycle manufacturing in Italy. The Guzzi motor museum houses 150 motorbike exhibits in Italy, perfect for any motorcycle enthusiast.

Ferrari Museum, Maranello

Another transport museum, but this time aimed at those with a passion for fast cars. The Ferrari Museum is a definite day trip from Lake Como but it’s great for car lovers. You can totally immerse yourself in the various Ferrari exhibits. These include a constantly changing display of forty Ferrari models, trophies, engines, photographs and production models. You can also trace the evolution of Ferrari. Observe recreated models of Enzo Ferrari’s shop and residence in Modena which preceded the creation of the Maranello factory. There is a small projection room that continuously shows racing footage as well as a life size race pit. Not only that. There are also two simulators (a GT and an F1) on which you can try out your driving skills by paying an additional fee. A gift shop is also located within the Galleria Ferrari where you can shop for official Ferrari merchandise.

Outside the museum, various companies offer visitors the chance to drive the Ferrari of their choice. Book tickets to the Ferrari museum in advance to avoid disappointment.

Cycling Museum, Magreglio

The Ghisallo cycling museum presents the history of cycling looking at some of the key events and players within the sport. Opening times vary depending on the time of year but across June, July and August, the museum is open from 9.30 to 17.30 Monday to Friday and from 9.00 to 18.00 at the weekend.

Resistance Museum, Palazzo Manzi, Dongo

This is a fascinating museum dedicated to those brave men who fought in the Italian resistance movement in the Second World War and who helped to secure peace for future generations.

‘Paolo Giovio’ Museum of Archaeology, Como

Perfect for history lovers, the museum is divided into two main sections, one focused on the prehistoric and protohistoric era with the other focused on Roman times.

Museum of Navigation Instruments, Bellagio

Located in a restored tower, the Bellagio museum holds over 200 navigation instruments. Whilst it may not sound the most exciting subject matter to some, many of the exhibits are incredibly beautiful and seem more like works of art than practical navigation tools.

Rocking Horse Museum, Grandate

Entirely devoted to the world of rocking horses, this is definitely one of the better museums for children with frequent ‘hands on’ creative sessions.

Villa Erba, Cernobbio

Villa Erba was built in the nineteenth century for the Erba family. When they died it passed to their daughter, Carla, who married Duke Giuseppe Visconti. One of their seven children was Luchino Visconti, who went on to become the famous director. Part of Villa Erba now houses an exhibition about Visconti, the rooms giving visitors an insight into the celebrated director’s life. By appointment only.

Museum of Villa Carlotta, Tremezzo

Not to be missed, Villa Carlotta is the stunning eighteenth century villa built for the Clerici family. It houses some wonderful works of art.

Bird Observatory, Arosio

Perfect for bird watchers and nature lovers.

The Cantonal Museum of Natural History, Lugano

This is open Tuesday – Saturday and admission is free.

Chocolate Factory and Museum, Caslano

The museum presents the world of chocolate from its origins to this day. Following a catwalk, visitors are introduced to the various steps of chocolate making. What is more, at the end of the tour a visit to the shop will give you the chance to try some of the Alprose products. The factory is usually open for production on weekdays so it’s best to visit then.