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Brunate a view on the Belle Époque
Visit the "Balcony on the Alps".
It is hard to look away from Lake Como and its shores, but trust us, it is quite worth the trouble.
Just head to De Gasperi square, where since 1894 a funicular goes above rocky cliffs to reach Brunate, located at a 700 meters altitude, providing an astonishing view of Lake Como.
Brunate is best known as "the lake's balcony" due to the splendid scenery that it proposes. It used to be a preferred holiday destination for Como and Milan's aristocracy, which built Liberty style houses here. You can watch them all during a relaxing walk: start with the former Hotel Brunate, then go through via Roma to reach the Chalet Sonzogno, a wooden building given as a third prize to the readers of the newspaper Il Secolo in 1904.
Not far from there is Villa Cantaluppi Giuliani, with its Liberty style furnishings and the distinct bow-windows of Villa Crespi Bianchioco. At the funicular square spires the Grand Hotel Milano, designed by architect Enea Manfredini. This can be the perfect starting point for beautiful itineraries. Several trekking and hiking routes that lead to Pissarottino or Como, passing by the San Donato Hermitage.
You can also make a trip to Monte Piatto and see the ancient boulder-tombs excavated in glacial rocks, plus the curious monument of Pietra Pendula, which looks like a massive mushroom. Take the chance to visit Torno, where the church of San Giovanni can be seen and you can get on a boat to explore the lake.