10 sights of Varese, Italy

Varese Italy. Varese sights.

Varese is a modern city with a population of 84.5 thousand people and the administrative center of the province of the same name in the northern part of Italy in the region of Lombardy.

Varese is the northern gateway to Italy: 20 kilometers from the city there is the international airport of Milan Malpensa. Not far from Varese passes Swiss border.

The city area of 54 square km stretches along the picturesque shores of Lake Varese (altitude 380 m).

The resort town of Varese is located 50 km to the north-west of Milan, the main city of northern Italy. The first in the world freeway “Milan – Varese” was built in Italy in 1924.

Pictures of Varese

The Province of Varese begins at the foot of the Sacro Monte di Varese (part of the Campo dei Fiori range), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Province of Varese is the “lake region” of Lombardy (7 lakes).

The Province of Varese offers tourists a heady and healthy mountain air and allows you to be enchanted by the beauty of glacial lakes and scenery of mountain valleys as well as to find harmony and blend in with nature in numerous national parks.

The resort of Varese is in the heart of the Italian Alps.

Varese itself lies in the valley of the mirror lakes of Varese and very clean Lake Maggiore, surrounded by alpine landscapes and fast rivers, crossing the Lombardy region from North to South.

Lake Varese.

Lake Varese is a great option for summer beach vacations and for yacht and boat regattas.

Lake Varese is a lake of glacial origin. It is situated 236 meters above sea level. The average depth of the lake is 11 meters and the maximum depth is 26 meters. The water surface area resembles a shoe and stretches for 14.95 km. On the shores of Lake Varese there are 9 communes.

Lake Varese gives shelter to 150 species of birds. Among them are some rare species: red heron, bittern, gray duck.

Lake Como (Lario) captivates with its beauty and magnificent villas-museums fringing its shores. It is only 23km northeast of the town of Varese to admire its charm!

Sunset on Lake Varese. Italy.

Sunset on Lake Varese. Italy.

History of Varese.

Archaeological research has proved the approximate age of the first settlements in the Province of Varese (5th millennium B.C.).

Historical documents chronicle the town of Varese since 922.

In the Middle Ages the fate of Varese was intertwined with the Genoese Republic and the family of the Counts of Lavagna.

Then the city until 1386 was owned by the family of Fieschi. Then it was purchased by the ruler of Genoa – Antoniotto Adorno. The new owners of Varese during the 15-16 centuries were the Laudi dynasty. In 1766 Empress Maria Theresa signed a decree transferring rights of lifetime ownership of Varese to Francesco III d’Este, but this domination did not last long.

In 1859 Garibaldi defeated the Habsburgs at the Battle of Varese.

The 20th century for the resort of Varese is a favorite retreat of Italy’s secular aristocracy.

Vacation in Varese.

The modern spa town of Varese has a rich architectural history with its old and new parts:

  • The central part of the city has been built up since the Roman period;
  • Around the center there is a mixture of architectural styles from different eras;
  • The time of Prime Minister Mussolini (1924-1939) is a time of abundance of reconstructed and newly built buildings in the streets of the city.
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Today the spa complexes and modern villas gracefully adjoin the historic castles and ancient buildings. Everything here is imbued with romance and discreet nobility.

The hospitable hot climate in summer (from May to October the temperature varies in the range (+23 C +29 C), mild winter (not below +8 C) and the most ecologically clean area of Italy as a magic force attracts travelers and tourists on holiday here from all over the world, offering a rich tourist infrastructure of European service.

Porro Pirelli is a picturesque exotic oriental manor house a few kilometers from the Swiss border, Lake Maggiore and the town of Varese. It is an exquisite 4* hotel surrounded by an 18th-century park.

Near Varese you can play golf on seven excellent courses, go horseriding, play basketball, go gliding, visit the sights on foot. You can also pluck up courage and hang-glide down the mountains, or speedboat across the lake! A holiday at Lake Varese will be a parachute flight over the water behind a speedboat (paragliding)!

Italy, Varese: pictures and description of the main attractions

Holidays in Italy – this is always a rich program, plenty of positive emotions and a vacation spent in pleasure. All travelers usually talk about popular and well-trodden tourist routes. No Italian trip is complete without visiting famous cities like Rome, Florence, Milan or Venice. Fortunately, Italy is such an amazing country that you can’t do without these cities.

The topic of our article will be dedicated to a small provincial town Varese in Italy, which is famous not only for its attractions, but also for rest on the shores of the lake with the same name. Let’s get acquainted closer!


According to official documents the history of the province dates back to 922. The Middle Ages can be characterized as an intertwining of the events of the Genoese Republic and the Lavagna family. Over time, power over the city was passed on from one generation to the next, one surname being replaced by another. Despite this factor, by the end of the twentieth century Varese was already a favorite holiday destination of the secular aristocracy.

Urban architecture

The sights of Varese

In Italy, almost every town has its own unique constructions or cultural monuments, which keep the whole history in themselves. The province of Varese is no exception to the rule. Among the most interesting places on its territory the most prominent is the Estensee Palace, where the sanctuary of Monte Sacro is located. For those who are new to the idea of a place like Monte Sacro, it is worth knowing that this is where the procession originated! Nearby, at the foot of the hill, is the equally famous Church of Santa Maria del Monte. These two main attractions in Varese are considered to be the most valuable in the country, as thousands of pilgrims from all over the world come to them.

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After carefully studying the religious monuments, you can go to the nearby small village, where to this day you can see the quaint medieval buildings. In the market stalls you can find unique handmade souvenirs that are unlikely to be available in other popular Italian resort towns.

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A serene day

As you might expect, the next day began much more serenely. Although it could hardly be considered a day when you wake up at 5 a.m. and breakfast is accompanied by the protest movements of both of our young co-travelers.

But with our feet in the air and our will in the fist, we set out to conquer Mount Sacro Monte, which is an imposing center of Italy’s Catholic heritage. Without going into too much detail, it is worth noting that there are 12 memorial chapels located along the slope of the mountain. And at the top is a church surrounded by memorials to different generations of popes. I was especially impressed by the monument to Paul VI, who had a human skull in addition to lambs at his feet. And palms of hands of this bronze Paul were so disproportionate in comparison with the rest of his body, that one can’t help but decide to find out more about the history of creation of this creation and the biography of the religious figure at the same time.

Walking along the classic Italian stone paths, I had a great time practicing hiking with the stroller in front of me. Especially when it involved climbing up super uncomfortable stairs. And only at the very end we discovered the presence of elevators. But with elevators, our hike would have been kind of boring. Plus we finally got to try some good Italian coffee with excellent grounds. It’s hard to imagine that it took climbing Sacro Monte di Varese to do this, because even on our last visit we didn’t get to taste a good coffee drink.

The main failure of our ascent today was the inoperability of the funiculars. Only from 18th of March tourists and locals again should have the opportunity to see the beauty of prealpine nature with their own eyes. In Bergamo, however, I was not impressed by this kind of attraction. The same could not be said for the snow-covered alpine heights in sight. As Peresvet says: “Beautiful!” In general, the mountain landscapes of northern Italy impress with incredible power, even to a certain extent inspiring. But physical fatigue often fence off any inspiration in the background.

Descending back was accompanied by a desire to just walk through the streets, because nothing extraordinary we were going to see. So it was a pleasant surprise to find within the city very nice and cozy park Villa Mirabello, where the eponymous art gallery is located. Although, frankly speaking, the fact that both children inhaled the purest mountain air and went to sleep increased the pleasantness of this surprise. And Natasha and I enjoyed the rare lull. Sitting on the sunny side in front of a small pond with live swans, we enjoyed ourselves.

Villas of Italy

Picture galleries, monuments, wide squares and other historical monuments are not the only attractions in Varese. In this wonderful town you can still take a tour of one of the unique villas, which are in great demand among tourists. For example, Villa “Mirabello” may be an interesting object, because there is a collection of paintings of Italian painters, as well as a full-fledged archaeological museum.

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Villa Recalcati is one of the most spectacular monuments. In the XIX century this building belonged to one of the richest and most influential families in Italy – the Morozini family. At some point the family faced financial difficulties. So they were forced to rent out part of the premises. Among the visitors of the villa are many important people, including the famous actress Eleonora Duse.

A whole golf course can be an object of particular interest! There are more than five of them in the Varese area and there is also a racetrack where you can ride horses. So this is the wonderful city of Varese in Italy. Are you still in doubt whether you should visit it? Then continue our review!

Atahotel Varese


Atahotel Varese is located near the following attractions: Villa Menafoglio Litta Panza and Collection Museum of Modern Art and Sacro Monte of the Rosary. This 4-star hotel is within easy reach of the following attractions: Villa Milius and the Church of Our Lady of Prato.

About Atahotel Varese

With a fresh design that combines style and comfort, the Atahotel Varese Business & Resort offers excellent modern amenities. The hotel offers stunning views of the mountains, hills, and racetrack. The hotel is situated in a picturesque place at the foot of the Italian Alps, surrounded by the most beautiful Italian and Swiss lakes. Nearby is the largest nature park in Italy, the National Park Val Grande. All rooms have a large private balcony with stunning views. Facilities include an on-site fitness center, a meeting room for up to 1200 participants, ample parking, and a banquet hall. Hotel Derby’s restaurant, with its warm and cozy atmosphere and views of the hills and the racetrack, serves delicious regional and international cuisine. Varese train station is 2.5 km away, providing connections to Milan, where the Expo 2020 will be held.

General services Non-Smoking Rooms, Rooms/ Facilities for Disabled Guests, Family Rooms, Elevator, Soundproofed Rooms, Heating, No Smoking allowed in the Premises, Air conditioning, Garden, Bar, Restaurant (Menu), 24hr Front Desk, Newspapers, Safe Deposit Box, Luggage Storage
Sports & Leisure Golf Course (within 3 km), Billiards, Kids Playground, Games Room, Fitness Centre, Solarium, Outdoor Pool (in season)
Services Room Service, Breakfast in the Room, Vending Machine (beverages), Vending Machine (snacks), Laundry, Shuttle (extra charge), Airport Shuttle (chargeable), Conference/Banquet Room, Business Center, Fax/Photocopying
Internet Free wireless Internet access
Parking Free parking
Check-in time: 15:00 Check-out time: 12:00


Feel at home in one of the 220 air-conditioned rooms with LCD TVs. Private furnished balconies. Wireless Internet access (surcharge) will keep you connected at all times, and digital TV will not let you get bored. En-suite bathrooms, bathtubs or showers. A bidet and a hairdryer are provided.

The rooms have Safe, Air Conditioning, Work Desk, Seating Area, Hair Dryer, Bathroom, Toilet, Toiletries, Bathroom Slippers, Bath or Shower, TV, Telephone, Coffee/Kettle, Refrigerator, Microwave, Balcony
Services Heating, Pay TV, Satellite channels, /Alarm clock
Internet Wireless Internet (surcharge)

Notices & Payments

All guests, including children, must be present at check-in in person and show a government-issued photo ID or passport., Cash payments in this hotel cannot exceed EUR 2999.99 according to state law. For more information please contact the hotel using the contact details on your booking confirmation. The following additional charges are payable at the hotel: City tax: EUR 2.50 per person per night, up to 7 nights. This tax does not apply to stays of children under 13 years old. This list contains all charges indicated by the hotel. However, the amount charged may vary, depending, for example, on the room booked or the length of stay.

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Near the Atahotel Varese

Distances are calculated in a straight line from the hotel’s location to the point of interest, and may not reflect actual travel distance.

  • Villa Menafoglio Litta Panza and Collection Museum – 0.9 km
  • Villa Milius – 1 km
  • Church of Our Lady of Prato – 1.4 km
  • St. Victor Basilica – 1.7 km
  • Palazzo Broletto – 1.7 km
  • Basilica of St. John – 1.7 km
  • Palazzo Estense – 1.7 km
  • San Giuseppe church – 1.8 km
  • Estense Gardens – 1.9 km
  • Piazza della Motta 2 km
  • Church of St Anthony the Abbot – 2 km
  • PalaWhirlpool (sports arena) – 2.1 km
  • Masnago Castle – 2.2 km
  • Villa Recalcati – 2.2 km
  • Velathe Tower – 3.1 km

Hotel coordinates (for GPS systems): longitude 8.830010, latitude 45.833960

Lake Varese

In Italy it is very popular to relax on the famous lakes such as Lake Garda, Lake Como or Lake Maggiore. This is a way for locals to escape the hustle and bustle of the seaside among the crowds of tourists and escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a weekend in nature. Many travelers completely forget that somewhere in the province of Varese is the lake of the same name Lago di Varese! But this is a great option for a summer beach vacation, yachting and boating. An interesting fact is that Lake Varese is of glacial origin and is located at an altitude of about 236 meters above sea level. Here you can meet some fairly rare birds: red heron or great egret.

Opportunities for outdoor activities

In addition to hiking and biking, in the Varese area you can play golf, hang gliding, horseback riding, go speedboating, try gliding and paragliding, play basketball and even visit an observatory.

For children there is a “bungee” place, the Adventurepark Villaggio Cagnola at Strada Provinciale, 62, with them you can also visit the zoo. If you are by car, you can check out the neighboring villages. They are very cozy, the riot of greenery is inspiring and the people are quite open. Who knows what interesting things they have to offer you?

Estense Complex

In the central part of the city is the main historical symbol – the Estense palace and park complex. This structure first of all impresses visitors with its scale and luxury of the facade, which has been preserved to this day in its original appearance. At the moment the Estense complex is a striking example of Baroque style and the most memorable monument located on the territory of the city. As for the park separately, it is worth saying that it is a whole fascinating journey into the world of various sculptures, beautiful fountains and pools. Definitely worth a visit!

Baroffio Museum

Speaking of the cultural institutions located in the city area, it is worth highlighting the Baroffio Museum. Here the main part of the exhibits is devoted to religious topics, but even if you are not a fan of religion, this place will not leave you indifferent. Varese was once home to a wealthy baron who collected all kinds of religious art. In fact, subsequently, his entire collection was redistributed to the Baroffio Museum. Today it is one of the most unusual museums of the city, which is visited daily by pilgrims from all over the world.

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Shopping and Food

Shopping in Varese is much more relaxed than in Milan, and the selection is still just as great. In the heart of the city are boutiques of famous brands and designers. Sales here start after New Year’s Eve (from January 5th) and there are discounts in August. However, often such low prices entail long lines. Because of the proximity to Switzerland, many places sell watches.

You can buy up at any time at reasonable prices at Coin and Oviesse department stores. On the outskirts of the city the goods are also cheaper in the stores. And besides clothes, you must try wine, local cheeses and meat delicacies. Everywhere a lot of shops with these products.

In the restaurants you can try just caught lake fish and many seafood. And on Christmas and Easter Eve, they also make “panettone,” a pastry like our Easter cake. It has a lot of dried fruit, and sometimes even cream inside. The most delicious is still the dough, which is much softer and more tender than domestic pastries.

Climatic conditions

The weather in Varese, Italy, is usually moderate. Due to its geographical location, it has very livable climatic conditions: rich hot summers with occasional precipitation and warm winters. The province of Varese is located in northern Italy, so the climate is very similar to that of Milan. From May to October the temperature ranges from 23 to 30 degrees, but in winter the thermometer does not fall below 7 degrees. So you can safely go here in winter for a thaw, hoping at least for a while to forget about the harsh weather in Russia. You can visit Varese at any time of the year because no bad weather can happen in Italy! The photo below shows Varese (Italy) in spring.

Nature lovers

The North of Italy holds the most authentic alpine meadows, mountain tops and their mirrors. The mirrors are the numerous lakes, and the most famous of them is called Varese. Here you can come for the solitude, fresh air and crystal water, and at the same time have a snack on the lush green grass.

Ducks and swans, rather food-hungry birds, swim on the water. They’re not afraid of people, snatching pieces of food from their hands, while white beauties hiss. Not the most friendly birds, but how beautiful they are! In addition, the lake is home to 150 other species of birds.

The green bicycle path around Lake Varese is 28 km long. In the summer a lot of people walk there, not only tourists. It is a real pleasure to ride on it. In the Montelago Hotel you can rent a city bike. The cost is 12 euros for 4 hours per bike. You can also rent a vehicle in the point Gavirate. Water should be brought with you, as there are only restaurants on the lake. By the way, it is possible to organize several days tour from one lake to another (for example, to Lake Garda).

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