The most original museums in Como

Museum A.Volta

For lovers of a complete holiday, made up of fun but also culture, there are a series of very special museums that will make you love Como even more, in addition to the civic museums (Paolo Giovio Archaeological Museum, Giuseppe Garibaldi Historical Museum, Civic Art Gallery and Tempio Voltiano) from the Didactic Silk Museum and the Ghisallo Cycling Museum, there are some less known but very unique museums, here is our selection:

Toy Horse Museum (Grandate)

The Toy Horse Museum is located where once there was the stable of the famous Tornese trotter who was world champion several times in the 1950s. Cavalier Pietro Catelli bought the building and the surrounding land in 1969 but only on April 14, 2000, for his 80th birthday, wanting to leave a unique gift to the territory, he created the museum by exhibiting his private collection of toy horses right in the stable of Tornese.
The museum occupies a large area where a unique collection in the world of about 700 toy horses made from the eighteenth century until today from all over the world is exhibited, each toy horse is a unique piece of ingenuity and imagination.
The frequent donations that the museum receives constantly grow the collection, since 2004 it has also been enriched by the Lehmann collection, 41 silk-screened tin spring toys produced in Germany since the late nineteenth century.

Museum location: in via Tornese 10 Grandate
Opening hours: Tuesday: Friday 15-19, Saturday 10-13 and 15-19, closed Sunday and Monday
Contacts: +39 031 382 038 –

Ethnographic and Water Museum (Albese con Cassano)

The building in which the Ethnographic and Water Museum is located dates back to 1822 and is located in Albese con Cassano, in via Roma 23. Originally consisting of a porticoed washhouse on the ground floor and the elementary school on the first floor, it fell into disused until 2004, when it was chosen as the seat of the Museum. The exhibition space is organized according to thematic criteria that show the use of water in rural communities, through tools, objects and containers that testify to the manual techniques of washing clothes and drawing water, transport and use in the home and in the country side. Among the most significant objects is a fully functional fire engine from the second half of the 19th century. The Museum proposes some historical-naturalistic itineraries, which lead to the discovery of the water architectures still present in the territory: old fountains, canal wash basins, wells, iceboxes, ancient aqueducts and reservoirs, evidence of a seemingly distant reality, but which leads us to reflect on today’s problems linked to the exploitation of this precious resource.

Opening hours: by appointment for guided and school visits
Contacts: secretariat office 031426122, from Monday to Saturday from 8.30 to 13

Fossil Museum (Alta Valle Intelvi)


In the small square of the pretty village of Scaria, in the Municipality of Alta Valle Intelvi, there is the Intelvese Museum of Fossils, born on July 16, 1993 by the will of the Municipality of Lanzo d’Intelvi and the Natural History Museum of Milan in order to promote the knowledge and enhancement of the Osteno Intelvi fossil site, one of the most important in the world, which houses the remains of marine organisms that lived 190 million years ago in the gulf of the continental ocean (Tethys) the museum today houses about sixty finds from various areas of the world, for the most part owned by the Museum of Natural History in Milan or made available by private individuals. In addition to the finds from Osteno, pieces from Morocco, Val Sanagra, Brazil, Monte San Giorgio (both Italian and Swiss side), Arizona, Val Vigezzo and Monte Generoso are exhibited, which tell the evolution from 505 million to 36 thousand years ago.

Opening hours: visits by appointment only (max 5 people at a time), on Friday afternoon at 16.30-17.15-17.40. or Sunday morning at 10.30-11.15-11.40
Contacts: 031 035 3864 – whatsapp 338 386 5709

Museum of Navigation Instruments (Bellagio)

armillary sphere and Venetian telescopes

The Museum of Navigation Instruments, located in Piazza Don Miotti, in the hamlet of San Giovanni in Bellagio, was inaugurated on June 21, 2001, but its history begins a long time ago. In 1968, in fact, the writer and expert navigator Gianni Gini bought, while on vacation in Cannes, a Venetian graphometer, which was used for the survey of nautical charts, with which he started his collection of marine instruments. Since then, his passion has led him to collect over 600 nautical instruments, from the oldest to those built in the early 1900s, such as octants, telescopes and compasses, without forgetting the log books, precious manuscripts which testify to life aboard sailing ships and merchant ships that have made the history of navigation.
Opening hours: Thursday to Sunday from 10am to 1pm
Contacts: 031 950309

Grigne Museum (Esino Lario )

The Grigne Museum is located in Via Montefiori 19, in the Park of Villa Clotilde in Esino Lario and hosts more than ten sections of great interest, including a path dedicated to natural history, with caves, fossils, minerals, naturalistic settings of the climatic bands from the lake to the Grigna and the collection of butterflies and insects present in the adjacent Villa Clotilde. Not to be missed are certainly the rich archaeological section, which documents the human presence in the area, with particular attention to Celtic and Roman settlements, and the two thematic areas, one dedicated to the history and activities related to the presence of iron in Valsassina and the another to daily life and work in Esino until the early twentieth century.
Opening hours: by reservation only Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 12
Contacts: to book, contact the numbers 3482838438 (Catherine de Senarclens), 3427533018 (Marco Petruzzella) or 0341860111 (Municipality of Esino Lario)