It would be difficult to miss this attraction, as the arrow-straight diagonal line it traces up the mountain on the east bank is immediately noticeable from the lakefront, and spectacular. The funicular starts from a quaint building and goes through a short tunnel before emerging into the dizzying heights above the city. The panorama as the city of Como and the lake itself unfold beneath you is breathtaking.
Brunate is a pretty enough village to wander around and eat an ice cream in, but it is also the start of one of the most famous walks in the region, the two-day trek to Bellagio along the spine of the Triangolo Lariano. If you aren’t up for the full challenge, at least head uphill as far as the Volta Tower, a ‘lighthouse’ erected to honour the city’s most famous son. From here you can carry on, following the CAI signs, along the ridge to a path that snakes down through the woods to Torno, from where you can catch the boat home. Allow half a day for this expedition.