Villa Toeplitz and the Castiglioni Museum and Park
Villa Toeplitz stands imposingly on a hill to the east of Sant'Ambrogio, an area of Varese at the foot of Sacro Monte. The villa is currently home to one of the decentralised branches of the University of Insubria. The park covers about four hectares (nearly ten acres) and has a distinctive design of paths adorned with numerous varieties of exotic species and eye-catching water features. The oriental style of the ponds and fountains is attributed to the tastes of Edvige Mrozowska, who often visited the Far East during her many trips overseas and had fallen in love with the style. The grounds offer different species of conifer trees, most of which are ornamental, and chestnut, birch and ash trees thrive on the hill. At the lower end of the park are rows of lime trees and a magnificent beech tree of the Asplenifolia variety, whose leaves resemble fern leaves. The woods are also home to a selection of wild animals, which live here quite undisturbed, and it is common to see red squirrels, great spotted woodpeckers and European green woodpeckers, as well as fire salamanders in a pool of spring water. There are many buildings throughout the park, such as the greenhouses, stables, chapel, bowling green, clay tennis court, viewing point, swimming pool and, of course, the villa itself.
CITY LINES: C - Z
Spring/summer opening times: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Autumn/winter opening times: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
The Castiglioni Museum
Thursday to Sunday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6 p.m