The Varese province is also home of the painted villages: little towns and municipalities hidden in the beautiful green area of Varese and the surroundings known for frescos, paitings and draws on the walls of the houses. These open-air pieces of art are connected to the origins and the history of the villages and fit in harmoniously with the surrounding environment.
Arcumeggia - Arcumeggia is a small hamlet near Casalzuigno that lies between the green Valcuvia and Valtravaglia. It is also known as the village of painters: there are many frescos on the walls of the houses. You will walk in an open-air museum, surrounded by images of emigration, allegoric and symbolic figures, portraits of local inhabitants and crafts, as well as saints and religion scenes.
Boarezzo - The hamlet of Boarezzo, situated in Valganna, on one side of Mount Piambello, consists of a few stone houses, narrow streets and cobblestone paths. 16 artists worked to transform Boarezzo in a painted village, a sort of story that tells local traditions and old crafts. Today is a place out of time, full of memories, perfect for a Sunday stroll.
Marchirolo - Marchirolo is a small town situated in the mountains south-west of Lake Ceresio. The frescos are about the theme of emigration through the centuries and are situated on a long path framed by old farmhouses and vllas. A must see of the village is the church of San Martino, situated on a scenographic staircase.
Peveranza - In Peveranza, part of Cairate municipality, a group of local artists decided to create an open air gallery made of painted panels to represent the history and the old traditions of crafts and jobs of the village. These pieces of art are situated right on the wall of the buildings in which the work was actually done.
Cadero - In the streets of the village of Cadero in Val Veddasca, the walls are decorated with mosaics made in 2015 by students from the Accademia delle Belle Arti di Santa Giulia di Brescia.
Brunello - Brunello is a tiny hamlet hidden in the green hills between Castronno and Azzate. The church of S. Maria Annunciata, built in 1300 hosts frescos from 1400. In 1989 some of the inhabitants of Brunello decided to make Brunello a painted village, involving artists to paint big panels.
San Fermo - a neighbourhood of the town of Varese, and Olona, a hamlet near the town of Induno Olona, in San Fermo you can admire a gallery of frescos and poems on the wall of the houses.
Runo - In 1978, some inhabitants of Runo decided to create a cultural-tourist association called "Runo per l'affresco" (Runo for frescoes), with the aim of creating a "mural book" to "leaf through" along the streets of the village. Runo is also a great place if you want to trek on the surrounding mountains.
Olona – the project "Olona borgo d'arte" involved 12 contemporary artists linked to the land of Varese. The theme is related to the Re Magi story, to whom is dedicated the local church.
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Cover photo: marcoivanophotography