BRUNATE, Brunate

Audio File length: 2.36
English / USA Language: English / USA

Hi, I am Rick, your personal guide, and together with MyWoWo I’d like to welcome you to one of the wonders of the world: Brunate.

It is no coincidence that Brunate is nicknamed 'the balcony over the Alps'. Due to its 700-meter altitude, on a clear day the panorama is truly incomparable.

To reach the village, I recommend using the historic funicular railway, which has been open to the public since 1894 and travels about one kilometer uphill. There is an altitude difference of 493 meters in just seven minutes.

Halfway along the way you might spot a strange device that looks like a huge red megaphone: it is a cannon, but it does not fire projectiles, instead it produces loud roars to ward off hail.

Just imagine, in 1912, this strange device was designed which, when loaded with a special mixture of gases, would explode loud bangs at short intervals in the event of bad weather in the hope that the shock waves would prevent hail which could damage the surrounding vineyards.

I can't tell you if the gimmick really proved useful, but I can warn you: the cannon fires every day at 12 o'clock. So, if you're in the area... don't freak out!

You should know that after the construction of the funicular, the town experienced a golden moment for tourism, so much so that wonderful Art Nouveau and eclectic and neo-Renaissance villas were built, as well as two splendid hotels, the Hotel Bellavista in 1896 and the Grand Hotel Milano in 1911. You will be able to admire many of these beautiful buildings as you venture along the streets of Brunate.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit the 29-meter-high Voltiano Lighthouse, located about a twenty-minute walk from Brunate's funicular railway station on the summit of Monte Tre Croci. It was built in 1927 to commemorate the centenary of the death of the Como scientist Alessandro Volta. You can reach its panoramic balcony by climbing a spiral staircase of 143 steps and it is really worthwhile!


I bid you farewell with an interesting fact: the Hotel Bellavista was opened by a great chef of the time, Tommaso Ghirardi, who had even worked at the court of British royalty. The Grand Hotel Milano, on the other hand, is known for having hosted great personalities such as the American actor Gregory Peck and King Farouk I of Egypt.

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