Monday we set our sights on Lake Como! After breakfast we took a winding route to the Cadorna Station, stopping at St. Ambrogio’s Basilica (site of the previously mentioned crypt). Upon our arrival at Cadorna, our train was already boarding, so after buying tickets, we awaited the next one –thirty minutes later—cozily seated at the station café. The train ride was simple both directions, as we started at the beginning and disembarked at the last stop.
Surprisingly, Como was a few degrees warmer and much sunnier than the gloomy Milan we’d departed from. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a large map of Como, indicating points of interest. Having done a bit of research ahead of time, we made quick business of locating and boarding the funicolare to Brunate. It’s a little old hillside tram that takes you up to the top for a picturesque perspective of Como.
Though our day was cloudy, we still got some seriously breathtaking views and a took a stroll down the narrow stone road of Brunate that lead to a fountain (fountain-not worth it, fairly secluded benches to view the lake from up high-worth it).
We wandered around Brunate a bit, visiting the Basilica, and stopping in the little gift shop, then jumped back on the funicolare for the trip back down the hill. Passing apparent hotels and abandoned houses alike, the trip on the Como-Brunate Funicolare is well worth the few euro each way!
For lunch/dinner we stopped into one of the last restaurants along the route back towards the train station. My mother ordered two pasta dishes, which our waiter pointed out to make sure she was aware that her order lacked diversity, but not carbohydrates. I opted for the prix-fixe fish menu. It was a lot, to say the least. I started with an octopus-potato-arugula salad, followed by a shrimp-pumpkin risotto, and then a trio of swordfish, crayfish and trout (I believe it was Steelhead or something similar, as it was fairly like salmon). I was satisfied after the first course, full after the second, and I had to share the third! The dessert, a chocolate panna cotta, was good enough to stuff in on top of everything else! We well could have shared one prix-fixe and been happy with the meal doubling as lunch and dinner still. Lasting over two hours, the meal was not rushed, and though all reasonably good, the chef seems to have taken a lesson in primacy-recency education theory, where the starter and finish are the best, while the middle offered nothing memorable.
Following our final sunset stroll along the waterfront, we hopped back onto the train to Cadorna with our return tickets (purchased at the same time as our outbound). Full and tired from a day of train traveling and walking about, we quickly found our way to the Vecchia Milano and into bed for the night.
While I could have hoped for better weather, I certainly am glad we took the trip to Como, as it was really a different experience than Milan, and one that should not be missed!