Archive for category Gardens Lake Como

Gardens of Lake Como on Android

Gardens - AndroidEven the app Gardens of Lake Como has been updated and is now available on Android!

In addition to the Android version, 13 new points of interest of the province of Lecco have been added, which together with the 37 ones of the province of Como already included, bring to 50 the total of gardens reviewed.

Since the earliest releases of the app it was evident that the most important villas and gardens of the east branch of Lake Como were missing.

So now, thanks to this territorial marketing initiative by the Chamber of Commerce of Como, in collaboration with the two provices of Como and Lecco, the app becomes really complete.

Although less complex than the app about the Rationalism, both from a technical point of view and for contents production, the Android version required an accurate testing phase.

According to recent data, there are about 19.000 different devices using Google’s mobile operative system, compared to the relatively small family of devices with Apple’s iOS.
To be more specific, the app currently supports 95% of the devices listed in Google’s Developer Console, which means 7571 out of 7971.

The press release of the Chamber of Commerce of Como, included in the press-kit, also reports some data about the downloads, which aren’t bad for a thematic app among the many available in the “Travel” category of iTunes.

I personally met each of the managers and owners of the gardens of Lecco and with them I reviewed the text describing the gardens. To say the truth, I was a little surprised to know that some of them didn’t know the other villa-gardens reviewed for the app, so I hope that this project could help them to meet and build a network, other than being a useful guide for tourists.

The care and passion with which they work daily inside their gardens is actually more difficult to put into words. So I’d like to invite you to browse the app and visit the gardens when you’ll get the chance, maybe during the next spring flowering.

Some of the opening hours and ticket prices have been already updated for the 2015 season, such as with Villa Carlotta, while the rest will be updated later.

To paraphrase the motto of Expo 2015, “feeding the planet”, I hope that even culture, as food for the mind, will be among the main themes of the milanese event.
It’ll be an important event, during which the Lake Como area will be able to show off its “beauty” also thanks to thematic apps about the gardens and the Rationalism.

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The Three Miracles of the Summer 2013 in Como

Gardens of Lake Como iPad LandscapeThree “miracles” have happened this summer in Como, as Piercesare Bordoli, president of the Famiglia Comasca association,  said:

the reopening (although temporary) of a section of the lakefront walkway, after a long closure due to works for anti-flooding bulkheads, the restoration of the historic steamer Patria, and the redevelopment of the arena of the Teatro Sociale, the area on the back side of the theater previously used as a parking.

Small steps in the direction of a town that really cares about tourists and its citizens?

Maybe… in my small way – and with due proportions, since the three “miracles” involved a number of public and private institutions, and millions of Euros – I hope the latest update of the app dedicated to the gardens of Lake Como will be another step in the same direction.

A nice and updated app about the garden-villas of Lake Como, can be another good welcome card to encourage tourists spending pleasant days in this magic land.

It’s a mostly technical update.
The app now includes hi-res graphics for the Retina display of 3rd and 4th generation iPads, supports the 4-inch display of the iPhone 5, and also supports the landscape orientation.

Even the sharing of your favorite gardens via Facebook e Twitter has been improved, using the native APIs introduced in iOS 5 and 6.

The app is faster and more responsive, the scrolling animations more pleasant, and the overall look slightly improved.

Apple enthusiasts know very well that iOS 7 will be released shortly, and the app is already compliant with it from a design point of view, thanks to a “flat” user interface style and consistent colors.

Curious about the update?
Download the app Gardens of Lake Como – west branch from the App Store!


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Gardens of Lake Como Update 1.2

iPad2 GardensLakeComoThe second update of the app Gardens of Lake Como – west branch is on the AppStore.

It’s a big update, since the app is now in universal binary format, which means optimized both for iPhone and iPad, and the interface graphics, the offline map and the photos are in high resolution, up to four times better compared to the previous version.

Owners of iPad and Retina display devices such as iPhone 4, 4S and iPod Touch 4th generation will be able to enjoy the new graphics at its best.

Among the new features there’s also the ability to add a gardens to your favorites and share it by email, Facebook or Twitter.

I also added new photos taken from the boat, thanks to Marco Leoni, and from the seaplane, thanks to Cesare Baj, President of Aero Club Como.

The new graphics made the size of the app grow up to about 40mb, but fortunately Apple recently raised the download limit under 3G network from 20mb to 50mb.
There’s no such limit when under Wi-Fi.

Since the “likes” on the Facebook page dedicated to the app are still a few compared to the number of downloads, I added a link on the main screen of the app. In this way the Facebook page, where I post themed news and updates, is easier to reach.

The touristic season on Lake Como is now open: download the app and visit the gardens!

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Gardens of Lake Como Update 1.1

Villa BalbianelloThe first update of the app Gardens of Lake Como – west branch is available on the AppStore.

The update fixes a bug found on older iOS devices when exiting the online map, if they were low on memory .

Another bug, caused by the rush to be ready for the BIT fair, was about the presentation of the same text when a garden was selected from the offline map.
Thanks to my friend and mentor Alessandro for reporting it.

I’ve also updated some photos, such as the Villa del Balbianello ones, taken by Diego Cottino, a magic place where some scenes of  Star Wars: Episode II were shot.

This spring I’ll visit some gardens included in the guide, both for personal curiosity and to take new photos that will be added to the app.

Photos you’ll better appreciate in the next version of the app, where graphics will be optimized for iPad and Retina display devices such as the iPhone 4.

It’s one of the advantages of digital technologies: an app can be quickly updated, a paper guide not at all.

The initiative is appreciated and the downloads go up. Personally I think it’s reassuring seeing that, although the bad economic crisis, there still are companies and public institutions ready to support innovative projects such as this.

See you to the next update!

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Gardens of Lake Como – west branch 1.0 Released!

What’s the first word that comes to your mind when thinking about visiting a park or botanic garden?

For me it’s relax!

I don’t have any “green thumb” knowledge, so I couldn’t distinguish among different species of plants and flowers.

But the multitude of colors, the harmony between nature and the gardener’s work (I’d say art), are things you can appreciate even if you aren’t a botanical expert.

And you can appreciate them even more when there’s a unique panorama on the background, such as the one of Lake Como. 🙂

It’s a personal opinion confirmed by data, indicating a constant growth of the so-called Horticultural tourism, from abroad to Italy.

For these reasons I was pleased to work on the app Gardens of Lake Como – west branch, the digital edition of the paper guide made last year by the Chamber of Commerce of Como and the Province of Como, with contents by Great Italian Gardens.

This work gave me the chance to discover some gardens and parks I didn’t know and I haven’t visited yet.

For example The Garden of the Valley, hidden pearl of the nearby Cernobbio, maintained with passion by Mrs. Pupa Frati.

While designing the app interface I followed the essential style and the colors of the new logo made for the brand “Lago di Como”, presented at BIT in 2011, the international tourism fair held annually in Milan.

During this year’s edition of the fair, at the Regione Lombardia/Province of Como stand, there was a preview of the app about the gardens, more user friendly and updated than the paper guide, at least for those with an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

I hope the app will be useful to discover the gardens of the area around Como, reaching more tourists, both from Italy and from abroad, than any paper guide could.

It’s free. Download it and, if you like it, please spread the word about it!

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