People of Como are said to be born entrepreneurs with commerce in their blood.
It is very probable that this is an inheritance from history and from the geographic location of
the city, right on the major line of communication between the Po Valley and Central Europe.
The province of Como is one of the 11 districts of Lombardy and one of the most
industrialized ones. It has 566.853 inhabitants with a density of 446 inhabitants per sqm.
Among them workers are esteemed to be 256.000. The activity rate is of 66.6%.*
The active companies in the area are 50.436: 37% working for the secondary sector of
industry, 58% for the tertiary and just 5% for the primary. The development of the tertiary
sector is faster then the secondary one.
A relevant amount of the products from our province are provided to foreign countries.
During the last years almost half of the industrial products of our area has been exported. In
the year 2006 exports involved 4.705 millions Euro, showing the high competitiveness of
local manufacturers all over the world.
Very successful in local economy is the tertiary sector of industry, employing 29,000
companies. The most important service here is tourism, giving evidence of the great tourist
attraction of the Como Lake and area. Tourism is the third economic sector of the province and is
mostly developing in the lake towns. The offer here is even lower then the demand (*)
At the end of the year 2006 2.983 companies were registered by the Chamber of Commerce
in the tourism sector, 2.6% more than 2005.
On our territory there are today 260 hotels with totally 14,600 beds and 247 accommodation
facilities of other kind with totally 20.300 beds (**).
During the last years the bed and breakfast sector has largely developed counting nowadays
on 83 houses in the province of Como.
Today the younger generations have embraced a concept of modern, intelligent tourism which
is rediscovering and restoring the potential of the area, traditions and products that constitute
an interesting complement to the more classical tourist offerings.
Looking at the figures that make up the province’s economic scene, one gets the feeling that a
sort of entrepreneurial gene has taken root in the area, and that it has borne a
great deal of fruit. The first striking figure is the per capita income of 23.000 euro, well ahead
of the national average.(*)
The wealth of the province of Como is therefore almost totally created by local workers and
businessmen, lots of them work across the border in Switzerland. The state employs a mere
8.5% of the workforce. Despite being so fragmented, industry accounts for 52% of the wealth
of the province, compared with 43% in Lombardy and an Italian average of 33%.
The industrial sector with the longest tradition in the area is silk which is centred on the city
of Como and reaches out to the East to Solbiate Comasco, to the Southeast as far as Mozzate
and South as far as Rovello Porro and Turate. In just a few square kilometres one finds 29%
of the entire workforce of the province and 75% of those working textiles and clothing.
Brianza is the kingdom of furniture which employs approx. 15,000 local people. The capital
of the furniture industry is Cantů, which boasts an antique tradition of high quality carpentry,
around which the industry was created in the years after the war. In Cantů alone the are a
great many artisan workshops.
Farms, cheeses, bee-keeping, small artisan workshops, biological farming and farm holidays
are coming to enjoy a period of growth and support from local communities and from the
The Como area does not limit itself to the classic sectors of production, but has shown an
innate capability in selling has led to the invention of new ways to create value, not only
through products, but also through culture and traditions.
- (*) Data from the Chamber of Commerce in Como 2006
- (**) These data refer to the year 2009
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