Our cultural heritage

Of the ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Lombardy, Varese has more than any other province with four: Sacro Monte, Monte San Giorgio, the Castelseprio-Torba Archaeological Park and Isolino Virginia.

Sacro Monte di Varese (Sacred Mountain of Varese) is a complex that includes Via Sacra (holy road), a cobbled devotional road that passes by fourteen chapels as it climbs the mountain. Skilfully integrated into the surrounding countryside, the Via Sacra takes to the top of the mountain at the Santa Maria del Monte Sanctuary.

Listed in 2010 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Monte San Giorgio is regarded as the world’s best fossil record of marine life from the Middle Triassic, a geologic epoch between 247 and 237 million years ago. The mountain has produced diverse and numerous fossils.

Castrum Sibrium was a military stronghold in Roman times and used over the following centuries by the Goths, Byzantines, Longobards and then the Visconti. It is located between the upland and the valley of the River Olona, near the Church of Santa Maria Foris Portas, that hosts some beautiful frescos.

Isolino Virginia is a triangle of land just a few yards off the west bank of Lake Varese, near Biandronno. Nearly the entire island is covered by luxuriant vegetation which is home to many wild animals. Flora includes willows, oak trees, common alders, water lilies, butcher’s broom and some rare varieties, such as the bald cypress. As the island is one of the most famous sites from the European prehistoric period, access to some areas is restricted.


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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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    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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    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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    Birrificio Angelo Poretti
    Birrificio Angelo Poretti

    The Brewery Angelo Poretti is a pearl of the Art Nouveau style and a unicum of our land. It is situated in Induno Olona and it's a perfect combination of art and technology since the early 1900s, when the Bihl and Woltz Architecture Studio in...

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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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Varese, land of events

Contaminazioni – Marina Tabacco. Un’artista per un museo
Contaminazioni – Marina Tabacco. Un’artista per un museo

Until 6 January 2022 - Museo Castiglioni, Varese

Until 6 January 2022, the new temporary exhibition "Contaminations" will be held at the Castiglioni Museum in the Park of Villa Toeplitz in Varese...

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“In equilibrio tra sogno e realtà”
“In equilibrio tra sogno e realtà”

Until Saturday 18 December 2021 - Varese

Until Saturday 18 December 2021, at the Sala Nicolini di Varese, the exhibition "In equilibrio tra sogno e realtà" of Silvia Scuderi will be open...

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"UN POSTO NEL MONDO"
"UN POSTO NEL MONDO"

Until 10 December 2021 - Varese

The "Un posto nel mondo" project, born in 2002, will see the participation of important names in cinema, culture and the third sector. 30...

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    Lago Maggiore Meeting Industry
    Provincia di Varese

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