A Day Trip to Como

The view was amazing! Below us were the azure blue waters of Lake Como and in the distance the peaks of the high Alps crowned with snow. The weather was unusually warm for February. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the mountain air was fresh and clear, but most importantly my head was clear.


I had been feeling slightly delicate first thing in the morning and I knew where the blame lay. Firstly there was the waiter at Osteria Delle Corte in Milan who had plied us with complementary bubbly the previous night, before recommending a strong Lombardy red to accompany our meal and finishing us off (take that how you will) with limoncello on the house. Credit should also be given to the bartender at Hotel Mozart, who when asked for a single malt, gave me what must have been a quadruple measure, then  looked at the bottle and thought to himself “no point in leaving anything in there” so emptied even more whisky into my glass. A buffet breakfast of cereal, scrambled eggs, bacon and toast soon sorted me out and I was fine for the hour long train ride to Como Lago station. S seemed to have fared better, but she did skip the whisky.

As its name would suggest, the train station is right by the lake. A walk along the promenade took us to the funicular railway where a train departs about every 15 minutes for the hill village of Brunate. A group of international students, whose lingua franca was English, were waiting to make the ascent. A girl held forth telling about the friends located across the world she planned to visit. A boy invited another lad to a football match. “I like football!” exclaimed one of the girls fluttering her eyelids. S was in people watching heaven. Unfortunately for the soccer loving lass, she hadn’t received an invite by the time we got to the top of the line.

After alighting from the train, we soaked in the views of Como’s old town way below us beside the lake. Turning left, we could see the plains of Lombardy heading towards Milan. We decided to have a walk through the village, passing handsome villas and a pretty church.


A number of hotels and restaurants were closed as it was off season.  Our path took us through the middle of a small cemetery. F was reluctant to pass through, but we proceeded past some rather ornate family mausoleums. It appeared that some wealthy people must have lived around here. The next thing to scare F was a ferocious barking dog, which was thankfully stuck safely behind a large gate. Then there was the perceived bee – I say perceived because I noticed a much smaller insect, but it’s possible I missed the creature she spied. It put her off continuing with us to the viewpoint where the path finished. Although it was a grand vista before us, we could only see a small section of the lake. Como is shaped like an upside down y and we were just looking at the outside upper (lower) spoke, the rest obscured by mountains. Around Como town is the most developed part of the lake and it gets more rural as you move northwards.


Not wanting to leave F too long, we walked back to find her and then treated her to a ham and cheese panini at the Brunate funicular station cafe. She can be easy to please sometimes! Once we descended to the lakeside, it was time for gelato. To be honest though, anytime is right for gelato in Italy.


Once our ice creams were finished, we had an amble through Como’s delightful old town. We wandered down cobbled alleys flanked by mediaeval buildings which opened up into charming piazzas lined by cafes with outdoor tables that were so inviting in the winter sun. Eventually we succumbed and sat down for a drink, giving S another opportunity for people watching. One of her cultural observations was that Italian men seemed to regard shopping as an enjoyable pastime to be done with friends, unlike their British counterparts who are more likely to think of it as a bit of a chore. She noticed groups of them wandering across the piazza carrying shopping bags and admiring their purchases, clearly having a good time. I contemplated this as I realised I was the only man sitting outside the cafe drinking beer.


Seeing the shoppers gave F the urge and she managed to find a pair of rather cool sunglasses.

We returned to the lakeside through an open square parading numerous fountains. We passed the landmark edifice of the art nouveau Palace Hotel, looking like the sort of place that might have been the setting for an Agatha Christie novel. At the end of the harbour wall was the futuristic Life Electric monument, paying homage to Alessandro Volta – a native of Como and inventor of the battery.


Feeling very clear headed in the onshore breeze, we arrived back at Como Lago station. It was time to return to Milan. Boarding the train, I vowed to stay away from the whisky that evening.



Como is in the Lombardy region of Italy, about 50kms north of Milan


Regular train services leave from Milan Cadorna station taking about 1 hour to get to Como Lago. The nearest international airport is Milan Malpensa from where Como Lago can be reached by train, with one change at Saronno. The Como – Brunate funicular railway runs from early morning till late at night throughout the year. A number of walking trails start from the village of Brunate. Ferries from Como call at villages and towns around the lake, with a greater frequency in the summer


Click the links for Como information and accommodation

10 thoughts on “A Day Trip to Como

  1. Now see, that’s the best kind of people to make friends with. The waiter at Osteria Delle Corte in Milan and the bartender at Hotel Mozart. 🙂

    Atmospheric photos and your trip came alive before my eyes as I read about S, F and your adventures there. You had a spectacular day, I must say.

    Liked by 1 person

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