Monte San Primo excursion

Brunate: a village to discover on Lake Como

Brunate, a small town overlooking the Lake Como it is told through its narrow and leaning alleys.

With its 715 m asl it dominates Como and during the clearest days it observes Milan and Brianza, also seeing the entire Alpine arc.

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

Brunate: “The balcony over the Alps” – Como

Brunate it 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 the 1700s and 1800s, it became one of the major Lombard holiday resorts.

In reality, its origin is much older, and thanks to some excavations in the historic center dating back to the 1900s, some artifacts 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 to the north.

Only when, around the 19th century, the tourist flow of wealthy Milanese families towards the town intensified, did it transform itself from a small rural medieval village into a real urban settlement of great fame.

Today it is an independent municipality in the province of Como with less than 2,000 inhabitants which attracts tourists every day in every season and from all over the world thanks to its many belvederes and its privileged position.

Brunate Como: how to get there

Looking at it from the lake, Brunate appears unassailable and unreachable, however there are many ways to reach it.

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

The funicular from Como to Brunate

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

The overall 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 little train that climbs the steep slope? Of course it could only be a small CATERPILLAR, from the union of the names of the two towns, a fun and captivating pun!

A walk in the woods

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

Via delle Scalette starting from Como climbs to the left between the end of via Tommaso Grossi and the beginning of via per Brunate and winds along a mule track passing by the Hermitage of San Donato, a former convent now used as a residence.

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

A path that can be walked on 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, it goes up the slope passing through the intermediate stations of the Como Alta and Carescione funicular.

This path can also be covered in just over an hour, unlike what the sign says, which suggests a two-hour journey time.

Brunate by car

Reaching Brunate with a private vehicle is simple, even if the connecting road is quite narrow in some points.

Just take the so-called via per Brunate for arrive in about 20 minutes up to a parking lot at the gates of the Voltiano Lighthouse and enjoy the panorama that can be appreciated from there.

Brunate: what to do and see

Beyond the numerous city belvederes of via Pirotta or via Pissarottino, once you have discovered the small city streets amidst incredible panoramas, ancient buildings and silent courtyards, it is possible to reach some points of interest such as the Volta lighthouse, the parish church and the Campari fountain.

Picture of Larius Way

Voltian Lighthouse

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

The octagonal lighthouse can be visited, and through a spiral staircase that counts beyond 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.

Those who do not have the energy to reach the top of the tower can still enjoy the scenery from the large balcony in front of the lighthouse.

Campari fountain

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

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

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

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

A stop for a nice photograph is worth it, but it's a pity that only water flows! 😅

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

Parish Church of Brunate

Dedicated to the patron Saint Andrew the Apostle, 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 area.

Picture of Larius Way

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 excursion route that reaches Monte Boletto and the summit of Monte Bolettone.

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

Brunate in E-Bike: between history and nature

Experience recommended by Larius Way

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

Ideal for those who want to have fun and walk stretches in the woods and on the most suggestive paths.

We had the pleasure of having this experience with Discover Brunate, a super thanks to Giacomo who took us on this bike ride between history and nature.

Picture of Larius Way

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 its 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 his Instagram profile.