When in Como many visitors go on a trip with the funicular. The ride ends in a little town that is well worth a closer look.
Brunate is a small municipality in the Como province in North Italy. The town is at an altitude of about 715 meters and lies above Como. It has just under 2000 residents.
In 1340 a monastery was founded here and for a long time, the small town was very remote and hard to get to. A trek for mules from Como to Brunate was established in 1817. Nowadays two roads from Como and Tavernito lead up to Brunate as well as the funicular.
The tiny village was a favourite holiday destination for wealthy Milaneses for a long time. Art nouveau villas were built; some of which still exist today, some in better shape than others.
Today, Brunate is a place of mass tourism. The funicular ferries masses of tourists into the village daily. They flock to the church or the lighthouse and then take the cable car back into the valley. But there are still some nice and quiet places in Brunate.
We also went to Brunate and we rushed past the church without going in.
We then walked towards the lighthouse and I have to admit that I had to throw in the towel. It was so steep, so warm, I was so thirsty and at the end of the day, it’s just a lighthouse. (Lame excuses, I know…)
But we didn’t call it a day just yet. Instead, we strolled through the tiny alleyways of Brunate. We spotted many gorgeous houses but not a single other tourist! I felt like I was back in the Engadin. The characteristic mountain cabins, narrow alleys and a lot of nature. For a person from the big city, this is really quite relaxing! I even spotted a sundial on one of the houses. There is a wonderful German saying „Mach es wie die Sonnenuhr, zähl die heiteren Studnen nur“ which translates to „Do it like the sundial and only count the sunny hours“.
In Brunate one can find relics from the past as well. Wonderful manors and deteriorating abandoned buildings.
I totally recommend a visit to Brunate and would encourage you to leave the well-established tourist routes!