12 April 2021 to 31 December 2022
Pages of History - Monastry of Cairate, Monastry of Torba, Village of Castiglione Olona, Varese City
(2 days / 1 nigth - Saturday and Sunday )
Together with our Travel Specialist, an authentic connoisseur of local places and experiences, you will discover the CAIRATE MONASTERY dating back to the first half of the eighth century and which is one of the first monastic settlements in the area. Its foundation is attributed to Manigunda, a Lombard noblewoman, which would have sanctioned the birth of a female monastery built on the remains of a Roman rustic villa. A wonderful complex that has seen since the 1st century Romans, Lombards, pilgrims , nuns as evidenced by the numerous finds found and kept there: epigraphs, funeral objects, sarcophagi, frescoes, polychrome tiles...
We will discover another important MONASTERY: TORBA (FAI property) where the silence that surround this simple place, preserves and returns traces of a past made up of barbarians, nuns and warriors. We will admire the Roman tower with its rare and ancient frescoes.
Lunch will be served in a restaurant where you will enjoy local cuisine.
In the afternoon we will enjoy a real "dive into the past": we will walk through the village of CASTIGLIONE OLONA known as "The island of Tuscany in Lombardy". A village that still retains the flavor of a precious fifteenth-century treasure chest. Of late Roman origin, it was reshaped between 1421 and 1441 according to the model of the ideal cities of the Renaissance, at the behest of Cardinal Branda Castiglioni, one of the most distinguished men of his time, a lover of the arts and great diplomat, a trusted man of various Popes. and of the Emperor Sigismund of Hungary.
We will visit the most important monument wanted by the Cardinal: the Collegiate Church, the museum complex and above all the Baptistery which owes its fame to the extraordinary cycle of frescoes representing the life of Giovanni Battista, created by Masolino da Panicale.
Return to Varese for dinner and overnight at the hotel.
An exciting walk through the streets of the historic city-center, discovering its artistic and historical beauties, the wonderful gardens thanks to which Varese is known as the Garden City.
You will be fascinated by its prestigious buildings of various eras and styles, by the fully arcaded alleys, by the historic shops, by the "secret" courtyards and by the magnificence of its squares, the civic tower, the bell tower and the Baptistery.
Gourmet stop to taste a local specialty such as the authentic Buosino (coffee and chocolate-based drink) or Dolce Varese or Brutti e Buoni and than we move to Palazzo Estense erected between 1766 and 1771 at the behest of the Duke of Modena Francesco III d'Este who, having obtained the lordship of Varese from Maria Teresa of Austria, was eager to build his own summer-autumn residence. Thanks to its majesty and the fantastic Italian gardens that surround it, Palazzo Estense earned Varese the nickname of "Versailles of Milan", given to it by Stendhal.
Lunch will be served in a famous restaurant where you will enjoy local cuisine.
In the afternoon another short walk to reach Ville Ponti’s park: a botanical park of 56,000 square meters in English style with a structured path that allows the visitor to enter the historical places of the estate, to discover the tree species of greatest interest. Information panels help to recognize the specimens present, offering a scientific study and stimulating the curiosity of those who love walking in nature and enjoying its natural beauty. The park is the setting for the splendid Villa Andrea, the Villa Napoleonica and the stables, a complex that was the historic home of illustrious citizens of Varese.
Finally, a view of the park of the adjacent VILLA PANZA (FAI), an eighteenth-century villa that opens its windows to a magnificent Italian garden and houses a collection of contemporary American art among the best known in the world, as well as international exhibitions.
We could not miss the “Aperitivo-time” at the historic Caffè that saw the birth (on July 20th - 1969) of the pink aperitif known as Apollo 11, which carries, in its taste and color, the uniqueness and positivity of man's landing on the moon, an event that has forever marked the history of humanity.
Comfortable clothing recommended.
Duration: 2 days / 1 night
When: from April to October on Saturday and Sunday (subject to availability)
What is included: walk with our travel specialist, entrance fees, goumet stop and Aperitivo Apollo 11, 2 lunches and 1 dinner (drinks not included), overnight stay at Hotel and breakfast (tourism tax non included)
NOT included: transfers during the tour will take place by your own car or, on request and with extra-charge, we can provide a private transfer by car / minivan
On request it is possible to organize a private transfer service (car or minivan) from / to Varese city or other places of origin.
Price per person:
For families with children, price on request.
For private tours, price on request.
For large GROUPS, price on request.
The availability is subject to confirmation. The tour operator will confirm you within 24/48 hours from booking. Therefore no charge will be made until you receive confirmation of the booking.