Lake Como in Italy has been on my list since the beginning of my trips to this amazing country. However, I’ve been putting it off for various reasons – weather, high prices, and lack of time. Finally, after over a year of putting it off, I made my way north, to the beautiful Lombardy. Thanks to perfect flight schedule from one of the famous European low cost airlines, I could afford to spend 3 unforgettable nights in the southern town named after the lake – Como. Here is my One day in Como and Brunate guide.
How to reach Como?
One thing I love the most about Italy is its efficient train system! Stepping off an airplane in Milan Malpensa, you are only a short walk from the train station and essentially few hours away from almost anywhere in Italy! Same goes for such amazing destinations, as Lake Como, Lake Maggiore or even Lugano. The train ride from the airport is around 1h40min and costs 10,50€.
Lake Como can be easily reached from Milan as a day trip, but I wouldn’t recommend doing so due to the large amount of attractions and things to do.
Where to stay in Como?
As usual, we opted for the homestay type of accommodation. One of the cheapest we found was located only 15min away from the Como Borghi train station. The house is owned by a local family with ground floor specifically for guests. The hosts were nice and friendly and left us a tray with breakfast every night.
Generally, Como is a rather expensive town, so if you are budget minded, local homestays are your best bet.
Things to do in Como
The main attraction of this tiny town is the lake and the old town! Once you’ve been here for a day or two, you will find it extremely easy to navigate the streets. The Old town is very small and typical for Italy – similar to other medieval towns, such as Florence. Como cathedral is worth checking out – it is commonly described as the last Gothic cathedral built in Italy!
The town is mostly known as a birthplace of Alessandro Volta – inventor of the electric battery and the discoverer of methane. Among other important landmarks, Basilica di Sant’Abbondio, Volta museum, Volta monument (Life Electric), Villa Olmo and Basilica di San Fedele are also worth a visit.
The lakeside promenade is THE place to be, especially during sunset, when all the cafes and restaurants come alive. The views of the lake are breathtaking – you can enjoy a nice meal and observe the people, boats coming in and leaving the harbor and surrounding mountains.
Where to eat in Como
Como has something for every taste and budget. If you are looking for traditional Italian food, numerous restaurants along the coast are offering any kind of meal you might wish for. We noticed lots of Asian, Indian and Turkish joints as well. One of the easiest choices is local Pizza – we recommend trying it at least once – it’s delicious!
One annoying thing about eating out in Lake Como – quite often, a charge called “Coperto” is added to the bill – cover charge or tableware charge. We got charged twice during our trip, around 3€ per person. It’s usually written on the menu, so watch out. By the way – if you manage to find a place where locals eat, you might just escape it.
Another good alternative to rather expensive dining in Como – buy food at the supermarket. In Como, you will find many Carrefour stores and they sell hot food, such as pastas, salads, grilled chicken, etc. We went for it and had a small picnic in the park by the lake. Meal for two = 10€!
Brunate cable car
One of the highlights of my trip to Lake Como was watching the sunset from the Volta Lighthouse. The easiest way to reach the place is by taking the cable car from the eastern part of Como. With departures every 15 minutes throughout the day, you can easily plan the trip and depart around 19:00. The return ticket price is 5,50€ per person.
Once you arrive at the upper station, turn left and follow the signs. Volta Lighthouse is approx. 45min of uphill walking. The path goes through the village of Brunate – very tiny and picturesque little village with small restaurants overlooking the lake. The hike quite steep, but by no means difficult for a fit person.
Enjoy the view and make sure to start the return journey before it gets dark! Once you return to Como, take a minute to enjoy the lake at night – it’s very different, laid back and relaxed atmosphere!
Is one day enough in Como, Italy?
In our opinion, one day is enough for the town of Como and Brunate sunset cable car trip. However, you can’t leave Lake Como without enjoying it from the water. Therefore, you need at least two days: one day for the town Como itself and another day for the lake cruise. Alternatively, you can rent a car and visit lakeside towns by road. The scenic lakeside road is a must for all road trip lovers!
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