Art and culture in Varese

Spend a day at the museum, visiting the must see for art lovers and discovering local history and culture. Plan a cultural break to enjoy contemporary art works, sculptures, frescos but also the local industrial tradition, which is really important in our land. 

Religious art and collections at the museums on Santa Maria del Monte, Villa Panza and its artworks, the museum of Villa Mirabello in the Estensi Gardens, featuring some prehistoric objects from Varese and the surroundings, the ethnographic and archaeological museum Castiglioni in Villa Toeplitz, the MIDEC, international museum of ceramic design in Cerro, Laveno and the Museo della Bambola e del Giocattolo hosted by the beautiful Rocca Borromeo: these are just some of the cultural spots in Varese and the province.


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    The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso
    The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso

    Clinging to a sheer rock overhanging one of the deepest parts of Lake Maggiore, the hermitage is a monastery made up of three buildings dating back to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. It offers a wonderful blend of art and history set...

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    Village of Mustonate
    Village of Mustonate

    The village of Mustonate is an ancient rural village, overlooking Lake Varese and located in the heart of the Lombard Pre-Alps. It is located a few kilometers from Varese and Lake Maggiore, nestled in 60 hectares of meadows, woods and orchards...

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    Borromeo Castle, the Museum of Children’s Clothing and the Doll and Toy Museum
    Borromeo Castle, the Museum of Children’s Clothing and the Doll and Toy Museum

    Angera’s Borromeo Castle towers majestically over the southern shores of Lake Maggiore from a spur of chalky cliffs. The fortified mediaeval castle is steeped in examples of its long, illustrious history, such as the Hall of Justice with its...

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    Villa Toeplitz and the Castiglioni Museum and Park
    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...

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    Villa Panza and the Panza Art Collection
    Villa Panza and the Panza Art Collection

    Surrounded by splendid gardens covering 33,000 sqm, Villa Panza overlooks the city of Varese from the hill known as Biumo Superiore. More than one hundred works of art by contemporary artists are displayed in the villa’s halls and large stables...

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    Sacro Monte of Varese
    Sacro Monte of Varese

    Sacro Monte (Sacred Mountain) is the finest example of history and art in the Varese area. It is one of the nine sites known as the Sacri Monti (Sacred Mountains) of Piedmont and Lombardy that were inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage...

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    Villa della Porta Bozzolo
    Villa della Porta Bozzolo

    Built in the sixteenth century as a country residence, Villa della Porta Bozzolo later became a country seat for the aristocracy. An impressive Italian garden was later added, which is now considered to be one of the most majestic examples of...

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    MA*GA Museum
    MA*GA Museum

    The Museum today preserves more than 5,000 works including paintings, sculptures, installations, artist's books, photographs, design objects and graphic works that offer visitors a rich and articulated panorama of the main artistic orientations...

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    Castiglione Olona and the Collegiate Church Compound
    Castiglione Olona and the Collegiate Church Compound

    The village of Castiglione Olona has ancient origins. It was a fortress in Roman times and later the village became the subject of a fierce dispute between the Visconti and Torriani families as they fought for years to gain control over the...

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    Painted Villages
    Painted Villages

    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...

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    Waterfalls
    Waterfalls

    Among the green of our province there are several marvelous waterfalls.

    Ferrera waterfall - Situated in the municipality of Ferrera the waterfall is also known by local people as Fermona. It is located about 30 meters just below the...

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    Luino
    Luino

    Situated on the lakeshore at the end of the Valtravaglia valley, about 4 km far from the Swiss border, Luino is the main town of the lombardian side of lake Maggiore. You'll find yourself in a typical, elegant and characteristic lake town,...

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    Laveno Mombello
    Laveno Mombello

    Laveno is the one of the main touristic towns of the lombardian side of lake Maggiore, it is well known for its marina, link to the piemontese side. It is situated between the blue of the lake and the green of the surrounding mountains,...

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    Panperduto
    Panperduto

    A gem of industrial hydroengineering, Panperduto represents an area of great interest to make visitors aware of cultural, historical, agricultural and environmental heritage. 

    Located on the banks of the Ticino river, at Somma Lombardo...

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    Monastero di Cairate
    Monastero di Cairate

    The Benedictine Monastery of Santa Maria Assunta was founded in 737 by Manigunda, a Lombard nobleman linked by the royal court of Pavia.

    In the area...

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    Villa Torelli Mylius
    Villa Torelli Mylius

    Villa Mylius is a tyical Italian Villa situated in the centre of Varese. Originally the site was a property of Padri Gesuiti of Varese and was founded in the XVIII century. The site was made of a simple farmer's house, which became the core of...

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    Angera
    Angera

    The village of Angera is one of the most beautiful on the lombard shore of Lake Maggiore: it is an open-air museum that includes sites of artistic and cultural interest, environmental goods and a lakefront with beautiful landscapes. The alleys...

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    Frera Museum
    Frera Museum

    Frera was an italian motorcycle company, open and active in Tradate, Varese from 1905 to 1936.

    The museum of the motorcycle, actually located and open in the old company factory, presents the history of Frera and it is divided into two...

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    Casa Museo Lodovico Pogliaghi
    Casa Museo Lodovico Pogliaghi

    The home-atelier of the great eclectic artist which dates back to the early '900, built by himself, is the first point of interest you can meet after the 14th chapel on the sacred path of Sacro Monte di Varese. Pogliaghi designed it as a museum...

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    Museo Baroffio e del Santuario del Sacro Monte sopra Varese
    Museo Baroffio e del Santuario del Sacro Monte sopra Varese

    Dedicated to the ones interested in the history of Santa Maria del Monte, it includes and shows romanesque sculptures, precious miniatures, a collection of important paintings of Giuseppe Baroffio Dall’Aglio and a section of sacred art from the...

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    Villa Mirabello Museo Archeologico
    Villa Mirabello Museo Archeologico

    Villa Mirabello was built in the eighteenth century on the top of the Mirabello hills. Mirabello means beautiful view, and the villa is aptly named for its panoramic vistas over the lake and Alps. The villa currently houses the Civic Museums,...

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    Natural Parks
    Natural Parks

    Uncontaminated spaces, green and nature: uncover the best natural parks on our territory.

    Parco Regionale del Campo dei Fiori: 6,300 hectares, 17 municipalities and 2 Comunità Montane: the largest park in the province, with trails,...

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    Ancient mills and rural structures
    Ancient mills and rural structures

    The land of Varese hides many different rural structures: from ancient watermills to old stone houses in tiny mountain villages that you can only reach by foot or with the cableway. If you wanto to step back into the past, here's a list of...

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    SHOPPING DISTRICT
    SHOPPING DISTRICT

    Saronno, Busto Arsizio and Gallarate are three of the largest and most industrialized cities in the area of Varese: they are home to several points of cultural interest, but also to markets, shopping centers, small craft shops and interesting...

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    Minor lakes
    Minor lakes

    Beside the best known lakes, like Lake Maggiore and Lake Varese, not many people know that the land of Varese hides other smaller lakes, immersed into valleys and surrounded by the woods. For those who love  relaxing by the lake reading a good...

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    Fisogni Museum
    Fisogni Museum

    Founded in 1966 by Guido Fisogni, the Fisogni Museum of Petrol Stations hosts the biggest collection in the world about gas pump and petroliana, more than 6000 objects which represent the history of service stations, industrial design and oil...

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    Osservatorio Astronomico Schiaparelli
    Osservatorio Astronomico Schiaparelli

    The Campo dei Fiori Astronomical Observatory stands at a height of 1230 meters on the top of the Campo dei Fiori in Varese, where the Citadel of Natural Sciences has been present for over half a century, which includes the “G. V. Schiaparelli...

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    Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of Miracles
    Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of Miracles

    Born over 500 years ago, the Sanctuary of the Beata Vergine dei Miracoli, in Saronno, is the destination of many faithful. Today it is a European heritage.

    The Sanctuary is defined as a "casket" full of art treasures. The long list of...

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    CIVICO MUSEO PARISI VALLE
    CIVICO MUSEO PARISI VALLE

    The Civico Museo Parisi Valle, located in Maccagno con Pino e Veddasca,on the Lombard shore of Lake Maggiore, was founded in 1977 and is one of the few museums to have sprung up in post-war Italy. The institution of the museum was promoted by...

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    Fondazione Marcello Morandini
    Fondazione Marcello Morandini

    Fondazione Marcello Morandini is the national reference point of concrete art, and one of the main ones in the European scene. A place open to the public where you can admire permanent exhibitions, temporary exhibitions and participate in...

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    Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Piazza
    Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Piazza

    The Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Piazza is located in the historic centre of Busto Arsizio, where an earlier church dedicated to the Virgin Mary stood, and was built between 1515 and 1522. Two names appear in the documents dealing with the...

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    The path of silence
    The path of silence

    From the historic center of Viggiù begins the route that led Liliana Segre on 8th December 1943 to cross the frontier through the woods with her father and cousins.

    The trail is 4 kilometres long with an altitude difference of 300...

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Varese, land of events

4th ARTISTIC DANCE FESTIVAL
4th ARTISTIC DANCE FESTIVAL

Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th March 2024 - Castellanza

Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th March, the 4th edition of the Artistic Dance Festival will be held at Palaborsani in Castellanza. Saturday 16th...

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12° EUROPEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC FESTIVAL
12° EUROPEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC FESTIVAL

From Saturday 16th March to Thursday 25th April 2024 - Legnano, Busto Arsizio, Castellanza e Cairate

A cultural and artistic project dedicated to historical, modern and contemporary photography, with an interdisciplinary approach featuring...

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Fiera del Cardinale
Fiera del Cardinale

Every first Sunday of the month - Castiglione Olona

Every first Sunday of the month from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. you can find the antiques fair in the city centre of Castiglione Olona.  For all lovers...

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    Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry
    Provincia di Varese
    Consorzio Qualità Miele Varesino

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