For years there has been talk of a new tunnel running from Colonno to Menaggio, easing traffic flow considerably on the western shore of Lake Como. This is a major project with talk of a 10-year construction timescale – hardly surprising given the need to bore through 9km of solid rock!
Traffic on the western shore of Lake Como was eased many years ago by the building of tunnels and a new main road bypassing the villages from Cernobbio to Laglio, with a further tunnel which bypasses Brienno.
Going northwards beyond Argegno there are several narrow points in the road that can cause significant traffic jams – notably in Colonno, Sala Comacina and Ossuccio. A bus and a large truck meeting at one of the narrow points is a challenge and particularly in the summer it can make progress along the lake painfully slow.
Whilst there has been no official announcement there is plenty of informed local chatter currently, with various mayors indicating the funding has been allocated and the project can begin.
This is a welcome development and will affect the choice to where to buy a property on Lake Como. Here are our five top thoughts.
West versus East. The infrastructure advantages of the western shore over the eastern shore (from Como to Bellagio) will be boosted further. This will increase the premium paid for homes on the western shore.
Property values rise. While 10 years is a long-time horizon, some of the lakefront villages will eventually see their traffic drop considerably. Lenno, Mezzegra, Sala Comacina and other villages will lose much of the traffic noise and many properties will become much more attractive to international buyers. Prices will rise – eventually. Anyone looking to buy now will want to avoid noise from the construction but can think about the potential gain in value from a property once the tunnel has been constructed. Prices in Laglio and Moltrasio are notably high, and the existence of the main road which bypasses these charming villages is a significant factor.
The biggest beneficiaries. The tunnel is expected to run without exits from Colonno to Menaggio. There will be local traffic and it might be reasonable to assume that the villages nearest the middle will be the biggest beneficiaries – Lenno and Mezzegra for example.
Milan Malpensa airport gets closer. Argegno is around 45 minutes’ drive from Milan Malpensa airport. Going further north, travel times become uncertain as delays can occur. Menaggio, currently 90 minutes from the airport on a typical day, should see its journey time cut to a little over an hour. Menaggio and other destinations become much more attractive as a place to have a holiday home for many long weekends.
The new Laglio? Whilst Laglio will always be closer to Como, the motorway system and the airport, Lenno has evident charm with its long lakefront promenade and restaurants and cafes. With a significantly reduced journey time Lenno might well become as sought after as Laglio. Now there’s a thought!