It was by all count and measure such an amazing day enjoying the cruise and view of Lake Como. The pristine clear waters were comparable to no other lake I have seen. The green mountains that surround the lake create an aura of beauty that begs one to stay some more. You can’t help but notice the beautiful settlements nestled at the peak of the mountains. As much as I admired the beautiful palatial villas I kept wondering if they are occupied and who might own them and perhaps they visited by some helicopter. As I kept enjoying the view I noticed a train line with a single coach majestically climbing up the steep slope. My very next thought was to go up there in the rain by hook or crook.
After disembarking from the cruise boat I headed straight in the direction of the base of the slope climbing train. It was close to the shore of the lake however distance and time didn’t count as I was distracted by the many restaurants that lined the streets. At the Station, I bought my ticket and waited in a queue to board the train. I found a standing space at the lowest deck as I wanted to catch the best of views and I wasn’t disappointed at all.
If I thought that I had seen some amount of beauty, I was to be totally amazed by my encounter up in the village of Brunate.
This Como-Brunate train made its first journey in 1894 and was originally operated using a steam engine. In 1911 the traction system was converted to use an electric motor. The line was refurbished in 1934/5 and again in 1951 when new cars were provided. Still to this day, it links the city and village with extremely panoramic views. The line is 1,084 meters (3,556 ft) long, of which the lower 130 meters (427 ft) are in the tunnel. The remainder of the line is at or above ground level, with extensive views over the lake and city. The journey lasts just 7 minutes on a track that has the maximum gradient allowed – 55%. The village of Brunate is situated approximately 700 meters above sea level and has always been a holiday destination for noble families from the Como and Milan areas who built numerous lovely villas in Art Nouveau style here. Brunate is also the ideal starting point for pleasant walks amidst greenery.
On alighting from the train the vista that greets you is nothing amazing. You get a 360-degree view of Como flanked by the majestic Alps and the alluring lake. You can see the outline of the historic center, the ancient Roman fortress and the magnificent layout of the city. There are beautiful restaurants that line up the fringes of the steep slope with amazing views. My time was short but I couldn’t help but enter one of the restaurants and order a traditional Italian pasta meal to leave a lingering memory on my taste buds as well and it was one of the best decisions I will ever make.
I could just imagine how beautiful the scene below would be sipping on fine wine in good company at night. That certainly is my plan the next time I visit Como. Whenever in Milan, Please do well to visit Como and when you do not forget Brunate and the funicular ride.