Via Scalini, Brunate, Italy

The basics

Most Lake Como day trips from Milan aren’t limited to the city of Como along the shore, but include a turn on the Como-Brunate Funicular, built in 1894 to link the lakeside town to Brunate high above. Known as “the balcony of the Alps”, Brunate is a pretty clutch of art nouveau villas with scenic views at every turn, quiet for most of the year though bustling with tourists in the summer months.

From the Brunate cable car stop, you can walk another 30 minutes to San Maurizio and then take 140-plus steps to the top of the Volta lighthouse. Return to Como via the funicular or one of the many hiking trails that descend the hillside to the lakeshore. 

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Things to know before you go

  • With views like these, Brunate is a must for photography buffs.
  • Kids especially love the thrillingly steep funicular trip up and down the mountainside.
  • If you plan to walk to the lighthouse or hike the trails from Brunate, wear appropriate footwear and clothing, and bring plenty of water.
  • The funicular is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
  • There are a few restaurants and cafès in town for a meal or snack.
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How to get there

Brunate is located above the city of Como on the shores of Lake Como, and is most easily reached via the Como–Brunate cable car from Piazza Alcide de Gasperi in downtown Como. The cable car runs at regular intervals, early till late.

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When to get there

The best time to take in the views from Brunate is from late spring to early fall, when the countryside is lush and the panorama can stretch to the Alps on clear days. 

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The Como–Brunate Funicular Railway

This historic single-track rail line is one of the most scenic in Italy, running up and down the steep mountain slope between the lakeside city of Como and the village of Brunate since 1894. The 7-minute ride features gorgeous views over Italy’s Lake Como and across the scenic countryside to the Swiss Alps on the horizon. 

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Brunate?