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Brunate: a village to discover on Lake Como

Brunate: a village nestled on the top of the hill overlooking Como: history, paths, excursions and experiences suitable for everyone.

Brunate: a village to discover on Lake Como

Brunate , a small town overlooking Lake Como , is told through its narrow, sloping streets.

With its 715 m above sea level it dominates Como and during the clearest days it observes Milan and Brianza, also seeing the entire Alpine range.

An undisputed point of reference for those who, from Como, look upwards and see a small urban agglomeration perched on the hill overlooking the city from the east.

Brunate: “The balcony over the Alps” – Como

Brunate is known for its landscapes, the breathtaking view of the Como branch of the lake and for the numerous villas in eclectic and Art Nouveau style.

Thanks to its strategic panoramic position, between 1700 and 1800, it became one of the major holiday centers in Lombardy.

In reality, its origin is much older, and thanks to some excavations in the historic center dating back to the 1900s, some finds have even been found that suggest a Celtic settlement from the 6th century BC

Although of ancient origin, the history of Brunate is always linked to that of Como due to its privileged geographical position as a crossroads for commercial connections towards the north.

Only when the tourist flow of wealthy Milanese families to the town intensified around the 19th century did it transform from a small rural medieval village into a truly renowned urban settlement.

Today it is an autonomous municipality in the province of Como of less than 2000 inhabitants which attracts tourists daily in every season and from all over the world thanks to its numerous viewpoints and its privileged position.

Looking at it from the lake, Brunate appears unassailable and unattainable, however there are multiple possibilities to reach it.

Whether it's a family trip out of town, or a weekend cultural excursion, the town offers everyone the chance to discover it and enjoy its views and panoramas.

Brunate Como: how to get there

The funicular from Como to Brunate

The Como-Brunate funicular goes up the steep slope starting from the shores of the lake.

In about 6-7 minutes from Viale Geno it reaches the top of the hill in a straight line, and allows you to observe the majestic historic center of Como moving away and showing itself in all its splendid beauty.

Inaugurated on 11 November 1894 , the one-way funicular has a maximum gradient of 55% and a height difference of approximately 500 meters with its 1084 meters of rail.

The total return ticket costs 5.70 euros and can be purchased directly upon departure from Como, through the ticket office. The service is active between 06:00 and 22:30 with some variations between weekdays and holidays.

Curiosity: who knows the name of the small train that goes up the steep slope? Naturally it could only be a small CATERPILLAR, from the union of the names of the two towns, a fun and captivating play on words!

A walk in the woods

For those who wish to combine a day of leisure with a walk suitable for everyone, there are various ascent options on foot, all lasting around an hour and a half and with a difference in altitude of around 700 metres.

Starting from Como, Via delle Scalette goes up on the left between the end of Via Tommaso Grossi and the beginning of Via per Brunate and winds along a mule track passing the Hermitage of San Donato, a former convent now used as a residence.

Along the route there are several wooden plaques that recite poems in Italian and English by various poets.

A path that can be followed comfortably, but characterized by a fairly demanding slope and some sections with steps, not suitable for bicycles or strollers.

The path to Brunate, a few meters from the north station of Como Lago, goes up the slope passing through the intermediate stations of the Como Alta and Carescione funicular.

This path can also be done in just over an hour, unlike what the sign says which suggests a travel time of two hours.

Brunate in the car

Reaching Brunate by private vehicle is simple, even if the connecting road is quite narrow in some places.

Just take the so-called road to Brunate to arrive in about 20 minutes at a car park at the gates of the Voltiano lighthouse and enjoy the view that can be appreciated from there.

Brunate: what to do and see

In addition to the numerous city viewpoints of via Pirotta or via Pissarottino, once you have discovered the small city streets among incredible views, ancient buildings and silent courtyards, it is possible to reach some points of interest such as the Voltiano lighthouse, the parish church and the Campari fountain .

Photo by Larius Way

Volta lighthouse

The Volta Lighthouse built on the summit of Monte Tre Croci in 1927 on the occasion of the centenary of the death of Alessandro Volta, allows you to have another breathtaking view of the lake, seeing Switzerland beyond Cernobbio and Maslianico.

The octagonal lighthouse can be visited, and via a spiral staircase with over 140 steps , you can climb to its top to enjoy an amazing view of the lake.

The ticket costs 2 euros with possible discounts for children or groups.

For those who no longer have the energy to reach the top of the tower, they can still enjoy the landscape from the large balcony in front of the lighthouse.

Campari Fountain

In the 1930s the Campari company commissioned the sculptor Giuseppe Gronchi of Florence to create a series of fountains to advertise the company.

To date, only three have survived: Pistoia, Arezzo and Brunate.

The Campari fountain in Brunate was built in 1935 in reinforced concrete in deco style and features a bas-relief with grotesque elements from which three sources flow.

It is located in via Roma and was intended to be a real three-dimensional advertising element.

It's worth a stop for a nice photograph, but it's a shame that only water flows! 😅

Curiosity: of the 30 fountains built almost 100 years ago, it seems only three remain, two are in Tuscany and one here in Brunate.

Parish Church of Brunate

Dedicated to the patron saint Sant'Andrea Apostolo, its origins date back to the fourteenth century.

Inside, in addition to the numerous frescoes dedicated to various patron saints, there is an altar with the relics of the Blessed Maddalena Albrici, a prominent figure for Brunate and the territory.

Brunate: paths, excursions and experiences

In addition to being a holiday resort and a point of reference for Como and its surroundings, various paths and excursions start from Brunate.

Beyond the Voltiano lighthouse it is possible to take the hiking route that reaches Monte Boletto and the summit of Monte Bolettone .

ridge of the Lariano Triangle also begins from here , a splendid high-altitude route that connects Brunate to Bellagio, where the three branches of Lake Como join.

Brunate by E-Bike: between history and nature

A wonderful experience to have in Brunate is an e-bike tour , pedaling to discover the village up to the base of Monte Boletto where a breathtaking view extends.

Ideal for those who want to have fun and travel through the woods and on the most evocative paths.

We had the pleasure of trying this experience with Discover Brunate , a super thank you to Giacomo who took us on this bike tour between history and nature.

You also have the opportunity to do some nice team building on Lake Como and in nature!

In conclusion

In conclusion, considering Brunate for a simple Sunday excursion is not enough. There are numerous experiences to live thanks to the many panoramic points and its incredible views.

A town that changes appearance throughout the year and to be discovered in every season!

Don't miss all the possibilities of the Lake, discover excursions and adventures, cultural places and all the beauties that the Lake Como area offers.

We thank the author Elena Taliano for the article, here is her Instagram profile .

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