To Como for this and that. In atmosphere it is the quintessence of a provincial town, though I always have the impression its still waters might sometimes run deep. The cathedral, il duomo, is clearly and quite rightly the first port of call for culture lovers, but visitors would be wrong to miss the civic museum and, in particular, the art gallery (pinocoteca) in the Palazzo Volpi. There is an excellent section on stonework in the early Middle Ages, the Romanesque and the Gothic periods, and a wonderful collection of renaissance works, including paintings from Paolo Giovi’s sixteenth-century collection of portraits of the rich, famous and powerful. (Those who feature include Dante and Christopher Colombus.) For my illustration I have chosen a fragment of fresco from the old church of San Giorgio in Borgo Vico that I found beautiful and moving.