Varese and Surroundings

History Art Culture


In the Mantegazza Park

The castle was built around the original medieval tower of the eleventh century. Of particular value are the frescoed rooms in the wing built in the fifteenth century, the same that houses the art collection with works by important Lombard painters. The eighteenth-century wing hosts temporary exhibitions and spaces for museum education. Workshops for children are organized.

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday 9.30 – 12.30 / 14.00 – 18.00

Adults: € 4


Villa Baragiola

Collection of wooden tactile models of monuments and various architectural works. Born thanks to the will of the blind association – section of Varese, but with the aim of promoting a knowledge without barriers through a series of multi-sensory learning paths, meant for everybody.

Opening time
Tuesday – Friday:: 15.30/17.30
Saturday-Sunday: 10.30-12.30/15.30-18.30

Full Price: 6,00 €


Known as the Isle of Tuscany in Lombardy, it is a village that still looks like a precious jewel of the past. Of late Roman origin, it was reshaped between 1421 and 1441 by Cardinal Branda Castiglioni, a distinguished man of culture and great diplomat. The charming historic village will be even more enjoyable if visited during the monthly ”Cardinal fair” (flea market)


The Archaeological Park of the ancient Castel Seprio consists of the ruins of the homonymous fortified settlement and its village and the nearby church of Santa Maria foris portas. It includes also the Monastery of Torba, managed by FAI and declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.

Opening hours: Period 01/02 30/11
8.30 to 19.30 (Tuesday- Friday)
closing at 16.00 in November

8.30 to 19.00 (Saturday)
9.45 to 18.00 (Sundays and holidays)


It is a monastery picturesquely located on a sheer cliff overlooking the eastern shore of Lake Maggiore. It comprises three buildings: a tiny church, (built in 1195 by a merchant, who, on being shipwrecked, took refuge in a cave, vowed devotion to St Catherine and thus built this church in recognition of his deliverance), the southern convent and the small convent, datable to the late 13th-early 14th centuries.

Opening hours
From 15 June to 15 September
Every day from 9:00 to 18:00
(Church closed from 12.00 to 13.30)

Nature and Environment



The Rocca d’Angera proudly stands on a spur of rock that dominates the southern shores of Lago Maggiore. Originally the house of the Visconti family, in 1449 it was acquired by the Borromeo family and still belongs to them. Inside: great historical halls, with marvellous cycles of frescoes, and in the “Sala delle Maioliche”, an extraordinary collection counting over 300 pieces. 
Other rooms host the Museum of Dolls and Toys, the greatest in Europe.
To create a perfect frame for the Museum, the exquisite Medieval Garden full of symbolic meaning, realized after accurate studies on ancient codices, old documents and pictures.
Ticket – adult € 9

L’isola Bella, transformed from a barren rock to a blooming garden, it is a place of splendor thanks to the recurrent blooming and the priceless architectural treasures. The palace is a jewel of baroque art which boldly blends with the green architectures of the garden, creating a sight for sore eyes.
Ticket – adult € 15

L’isola Madre is a precious jewel in the waters of Lake Maggiore and is known worldwide for its refined botanical collections. On the southern and highest part of the island stand the ancient palace,where prestigious furnishings of the Borromeo House are preserved, and the Family Chapel with the beautiful façade decorated with terracotta panels.
Ticket – adult € 12

Opening Season

Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Rocca d’Angera are open daily from March to October 2015.

Visiting hours:
From 9.00 to 17.30 (last entry).


Il paese dei pittori

A small mountain hamlet in the Varese province known as the “land of Painters”. In fact in 1956, the site was chosen as the venue for the event “Painters on holiday”consisting in the creation of frescoes on the external walls of houses by the greatest contemporary Italian artists. Since then more works were added making Arcumeggia the first example of an “Open-air Fresco Gallery” in Italy, but, more than that it is a lively village where people live their daily life in this unique atmosphere.


It’s a small romantic lake located to the west of Lake Maggiore. The ancient village of Orta San Giulio, a charming medieval burgh rich in history and art, is incontestably the prettiest place on the lake with its tall aristocratic houses and narrow cobbled streets. The picturesque Island of San Giulio and the nearby “Sacro Monte” are worth a visit.

Culture – Varese the “Garden City”


Varese, the “garden city”, offers many possibilities for those who want to take advantage of the holidays to visit some places of important cultural interest.


Sports – Outdoor Sports


Varese and its territory is the ideal setting for outdoor sports. Rowing and canoeing, mountain biking, horseback riding, gliding and paragliding are among the most popular sports in the area, which offers natural and ideal environment for practicing them.
For the youngest ones: several parks with games, among which the beautiful “Parco Zanzi” in località Schiranna (on the lake border and very close to us) and also an “adventure park” to play in full safety from one tree to the other (a few minutes from Varese – località Rasa).

Services – all at your fingertips

servizi - tutto a portata di mano

“The two G” provides ample opportunities to cook your own breakfast in the case of particular exigencies. (more…)

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