Italian Villas and Art Nuoveau Style: a weekend in Varese

Distance: 50 km by car • Time: two days • Easy

If you love art, historical italian villas and "bird's eye" views here's an itinerary for a special weekend in Varese and the province. 

Day 1

Start from Laveno, one of the most beautiful villages of Lombardy, set of many movies and Hemingway's beloved place. 

  • Laveno is located between the blue of Lake Maggiore and the green of Monte Sasso del Ferro, which delimits it from the rest of the province. Here, in the beautiful town, it is easy to find ideas for entertaining. Among the activities not to be missed, a relaxing sailing boat trip: a day by boat lulled by the lake, where you can discover glimpse after glimpse, the beauties of the Lombard coast and finally, gourmet dinner at the hotel with a view of the major to close in beauty.


  • If, however, the mainland is the alternative for you: spend the morning strolling along the lakefront and taking a break in one of the cafes of the village. Then go up the alleys that overlook the Maggiore until you reach the departure of the Funicular, at the foot of the mountain. From here you have two possibilities: walk up to the top or enjoy 16 minutes of silence surrounded by nature, aboard a comfortable gondola. From up there the color of the water is even more blue and the landscape of mountains, hills, valleys and tiny villages is a must.


@claracsilla and @bekleidet

  • If you hardly can take your eyes away from this wonder, have a lunch with a view on top of the Sasso del Ferro mountain or go back in the old town and pick up a spot for lunch where you can taste the typical specialties of lake fish.
  • Before leaving Laveno, however, visit MideC, the International Museum of Ceramic Design. A breath of internationality in a characteristic village like Laveno is what you need to fill your eyes with beauty. And if one day is not enough to fill it up, you can always opt for a tour to discover our fascinating theme museums.


@chiaraviaggiante and @museomidec

  • In the afternoon drive to Villa della Porta Bozzolo, FAI property. 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 garden design in Italy. The ornate interiors preserve one of the most sophisticated and decorative series of frescoes from eighteenth-century life in Lombardy, which are attributed to the Varese artist Magatti.If you still have some time, end your journey in Arcumeggia, one of the most beautiful "painted villages" in the province. 


@quasichiara e @georgelucky1973

Where to stay: Appartamenti EmmausCrystal Hotel

What to do: a walk to discover the Campo dei Fiori

Day 2

  • From the middle of the Eighteenth Century Varese became a privileged vacation destination. In that period the main style of architecture was the vibrant Art Nouveau, very famous and loved by the vacationers. Defined as an "open-air museum of Art Nouveau", Varese is home of many beautiful buildings and villas in Art Nouveau style. Spend the morning discovering these buildings on a bus: Varese Liberty Tour will make you discover these artistic beauties. Then go back to the old town of Varese for a visit. 


@saradeluigi e @elenacassella_

  • Then, to end your day in silence and tranquility, letting you be captured by the geometries and perspectives, go to one of the many wonders of the city: dedicated the afternoon to the discovery of Villa Menafoglio Litta Panza, former residence of Giuseppe Panza di Biumo. 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 as well as priceless period furnishings and an important collection of African and pre-Columbian art. Get lost between these beautiful art works and the garden and don't miss the photogenic greenhouse. If you want to, you can have dinner at Ristorante Luce, situated in the veranda of the Villa, with a great view on the garden. 


  • A true Art Nouveau experience, however, cannot be said to have ended without a stop at the charismatic Hotel Al Borducan, whose furnishings faithfully reproduce the characteristics of the past.

Where to stay: UNAHotelsHotel Al Borducan, Hotel Sacro MonteBis Hotel

What to do: a walk in the Old City of Varese, a guided tour of Giardini Estensi 

Do you want to be accompanied on this tour? Request a licensed tour guide. Contact us!

Plan your stay and your experience in the land of the lakes.

    Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry
    Provincia di Varese
    Consorzio Qualità Miele Varesino