Brunate and the “mountain lodge walk”
The Funicular railway station, opened in 1894, is in piazza De Gasperi.
In just a few minutes it takes you up to Brunate, known as "the balcony of the Alps" on account of its strategic location and breath-taking views from several different aspects.
The hill is home to splendid Art Nouveau villas built from the end of the nineteenth century into the early years of the twentieth century by the new wealthy middle classes seeking to make names for themselves. Floral motifs and eclectic elements typify the taste of the owners in an era marked by luxury.
You can get to San Maurizio, on foot or by shuttle service, where the Volta Lighthouse is located. It was built in 1927 by engineer Gabriele Giussani as part of celebrations on the centenary of the death of Alessandro Volta. The 143-step spiral staircase within winds up to the top terrace. If you wish to reach Brunate on foot, through the woods, there are two hikes from Como, one runs alongside the cable car and the other passes by the Hermitage of San Donato, founded by the Benedictines in the fifteenth century.
From San Maurizio you go up to piazzale del Cao: the “mountain lodge walk”, so-called because along the trail you will come across the “Carla” mountain lodge, the “Bondella” mountain lodge and the “Boletto” mountain lodge where you can enjoy typical dishes for lunch, winds its way along a mule track that leads into the woods. The path brings you to the peaks of Mount Boletto, Bolettone and Palanzone, from which you can enjoy a beautiful view of the lake.