We’ll just call this the “prequel” or maybe “part one of two“. As the title suggests, our day in Brunateshould have given us spectacular views of downtown Como since it virtually sits atop the city on a mountain. But since the fog wasn’t cooperating and decided to stick around – we didn’t get to see or photograph some of the most amazing views our lake town has to offer. So, perhaps a better title might have been…
“Brunate – we’ll focus on the town this time and show you the views next time… the Prequel”.
Welcome to Brunate
Brunate is a small town of about 1,700 residents in the provence of Como and sits [based on my speculation, vertigo and body tempeture] at the highest altitude in the immediate area. It is for this reason that you get the most speculator views as well as an intimate and charming old-world feel.
There are three ways to get to Brunate. First (and my personal favorite) is by helicopter. This is reserved exclusively for George Clooney (a “local”) and the Italian Prime Minister. I’m hoping to get on this short list. Incidentally, there is no helicopter pad in Brunate – I just imagine if they wanted to travel to this way… they could.
Town of Brunate from the road half-way up
For the tourists, The Funicolare takes you in a small train car directly up the mountain. This is a wonderful, albeit nerve-racking way to travel to the top of the mountain. Think ski-mountain gondola in the fashion of an old train car, although it is attached to the ground as opposed to being suspended in the air. It has been operating since 1894 – and it looks as though it still has the original… everything! Jen and I have not taken the funicolare in all the time we’ve been coming here, so we’re hoping to have some willing victims…errr, guests to do it with while we’re living here.
The Funicolare drops off in the middle of town
The final option – although perhaps even more harrowing – is by car. This is a dangerous proposition for everyone except the most experienced locals (who whizz up and down the mountain at breakneck speeds). Even though we are far from experienced locals, we opted for this route. Of course, we had more than our fare-share of close calls and angry tailgaters as I slowly wound my way up and back down the hill.
Two-lane road with one of many hairpin turns
Here is a video as we reached the town and the terror of driving shifted from falling off the mountain to adding new racing stripes painted with 500 year old bricks down each side of my father-in law’s car.
When we finally got to the top and confirmed that we couldn’t see too much – we spent some time walking around and stopped to get a coffee. We learned that parking is also very difficult in this small town, so we didn’t want to stay double-parked too long.
Jen – the white behind her is the fog hiding the view
Street view and a charming restaurant
Sant’Andrea – the church in the center of town
This guy was at the coffee shop – fun guy – loved Americans
This video doesn’t quite have the production value of the first one – no high-priced soundtrack and million-dollar effects… but it’s actually even better at showing the winding road going up and down the mountain. I apologize in advance for the narration!
Look at for Part II in this saga – where we don’t rush it and I get you some better pictures, particularly of the view. Coming sometime this spring…