Travel to the hilltop village of Brunate on a funicular railway that is more than 100 years old. Once there, enjoy gorgeous views and follow trails through the hills.
The Funicular Como-Brunate is an historic funicular railway that connects the lakeside town of Como with the pretty alpine village of Brunate. Admire sweeping views of Lake Como and rugged hills as you climb, and then traverse the countryside surrounding Brunate.
The funicular opened in 1894 and is both a popular tourist attraction and a means of transport for local residents.
Step on board one of the funicular’s modern air-conditioned cars and enjoy the 10-minute uphill ride. The journey takes you through a short tunnel and some densely forested areas. Once at the top, go to the public viewing gallery to see the haulage machinery that has just transported you to Brunate.
Wander through the streets of the hilltop town to find good vantage points from which to take in panoramic views over Como’s city center and Lake Como. Spot important city landmarks such as the Cathedral of Como, Piazza Cavour and Villa Olmo. On a clear and sunny day you can see the distant Italian Alps. Peek inside the local shops and have lunch in one of the traditional Italian trattorias.
Look for the signposts that lead toward Faro Voltiano, a 95-feet (29-meter) tall lighthouse. The walk to the building is about a 2-hour round trip. Climb the lighthouse’s 143-step spiral staircase for more sweeping views of the lake, hills and countryside. Another trail passes through wooded areas to the 15th-century Franciscan convent Eremo di San Donate. Alternatively, hike over the hills to Torno and then catch a boat back to Como.
The lower station of the Funicular Como-Brunate is a 10-minute walk from Piazza Cavour, in Como’s city center. Parking is available outside the funicular’s station, although spaces are limited. If you are feeling energetic then you might want to take the funicular up to Brunate and then return to Como on foot.
You can ride the funicular on any day of the week, with cars departing several times during the day. Find operating times, tariffs and lighthouse hours on the funicular’s official website.