Surrounded by lush green hills, with the sparkling azure waters of Lake Como as its centerpiece, the hilly waterfront city of Como has been a magnetic draw for guests from across the world. With its medieval walls, outdoor markets, picturesque churches, stunning resorts that dot its waterfront, and choicest of Italian cuisine, there’s no denying Como’s charm and elegance. Como enjoys an illustrious history – it was set up as an Alpine garrison and Roman holiday resort in the 1st century BC by Julius Caesar. There are historical landmarks aplenty – from the medieval watchtowers built by Frederick Barbarossa to the magnificent Romanesque basilicas, with their ornate interiors, studded with stunning artwork. Walking through the Piazza del Duomo, dominated by the magnificent Como Cathedral, resplendent with its myriad architectural styles – from Romanesque to Gothic – with the sound of the cathedral bells in the background is to savor the true essence of Como. As is to lounge on the terrace of any of the lake-facing hotels and resorts, which began their journey as ancients convents and palaces, savoring views of what Roman poet Virgil described as the “greatest lake” with the majestic Alps in the background. Little wonder then, that Hollywood star George Clooney has a villa here! To be at Como is to be in the luxurious embrace of the past and the present, all at once.