The parks surrounding the villas of Varese are the perfect welcome to what is commonly referred to as the garden city. Fresh blossoms create the green carpet leading to Palazzo Estense.
Giacomo Leopardi endearingly referred to it as the “Little Versailles” of Italy. A voyage through the splendor of the 1700’s, from the hill of Belvedere to the Italian gardens and their linear hedges. Villa Menafoglio Litta, managed by FAI, 'dimora di delizia' to the Marquis Menafoglio, tells about the passion for contemporary art of Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumo. Another artistic hub to be uncovered includes the Museum within the Masnago Castle, decorated with frescoes of scenes from the court.
Outside the city, there are plenty of opportunities to climb the surrounding steep slopes by bicycle. Start slow in Schiranna, and, in a more slow way, from the circumnavigation of Lake Varese. Here were found palafitte of primitive men, with the first remains found as far back as 1863. Some are in the museum of the Virginia Beetle, others are kept in the Civic Museum of the City of Varese, in Villa Mirabello.
By foot, just two kilometers from the Via Sacra, is the Sanctuary of the Sacro Monte, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that connects 14 chapels winding into the sky. Under the mountain, in Sant’Ambrogio, check out the magnificent Villa Toeplitz, a testament park-gardens of Varese.
For more information visit www.in-lombardia.it