Dated to 1154, the charming cloister was built in mediaeval times although the foundations are definitely much older: it took many years to build and encompasses both the Romanesque and the Gothic eras. We know the architect behind the cloister was Lanfranco da Ligurno, a late twelfth-century “magister” sculptor, as he left his signature on the cloister, and the capitals at the head of the columns are recognised as the most valuable artistic element of the entire building.
Following extensive restoration work the cloister is now a focal point for cultural activities in the area, and is home to the Province of Varese Museum of Modern Art. Voltorre Cloister is regularly used for hosting exhibitions and conferences.
The cloister is open to the public from 2 to 6 p.m. from Thursday to Sunday and on public holidays.