Attractions

Architecture in Varese

Villa Panza

On a rise north of Varese’s centre, where the high walls of private residences enclose narrow, winding lanes, Villa Panza enjoys beautiful views of the Alps from its extensive gardens. The villa was donated to the n…
Architecture in Varese

Palazzo Estense

From the 17th century, nobles and the rich, many from Milan, began to build second residences around Varese's historic centre. Of these, the most sumptuous is the Palazzo Estense, completed in 1771 for Francesco III…
Museum in Varese

Museo Castiglioni

Set in the lush grounds of the Toeplitz estate, the Museo Castiglioni houses a surprising collection of ethnographic works. The Castiglioni brothers devoted their lives to archaeological research, and their travels …
Historic Site in Varese

Città Vecchia

North off Piazza Monte Grappa, the delightful pedestrianised Corso Matteotti signals the western boundary of Varese's tiny old centre, at whose heart rises the baroque Basilica di San Vittore. The interior is a lavi…
Piazza in Varese

Piazza Monte Grappa

Piazza Monte Grappa, on the cusp of Varese's old town, is fascinating for history and architecture buffs. The square was completely remade in grand Fascist fashion in the early 1930s. Most extraordinary is the Torre…
Gardens in Varese

Giardini Estensi

Set on a hillside just south of Varese's old centre, these picturesque gardens make a pleasant setting for a stroll. A large circular fountain, a pretty pond and much greenery look all the lovelier against the state…
Museum in Varese

Museo Civico Archeologico di Villa Mirabello

Villa Mirabello houses Varese’s main museum, which has a wide-ranging collection covering prehistoric times, the Roman era, the Lombards and the Middle Ages. The villa is accessible through the Giardini Estensi, whi…
Church in Varese

Basilica di San Vittore

The showcase attraction of Varese's centre is this ornate basilica, built between the 16th and 17th centuries. The more stolid facade was an 18th-century addition.
Architecture in Varese

Villa Recalcati

A magnificent 17th-century villa that houses the provincial government. In the late 1800s, it was transformed into a grand hotel, and hosted luminaries such as Giuseppe Verdi. Fountains, statues and elegant paths do…
Architecture in Varese

Torre Civica

Soaring high above Varese's main square, this enormous clock tower was built in 1933, and has quite the Fascist-era aesthetic about it. At the base, you'll note an arengario, or balcony that demagogues like Mussolin…