The territory of Varese, situated to the east of Lake Maggiore, boasts numerous attractions and particularly distinctive elements. First of all, the landscape has a wealth of water and green. The territory of Varese extends from the foothills of the Alps toward the plain, including a series of lakes of different sizes: Lake Varese, Lake Monate and Lake Comabbio.
There are also many watercourses, including rivers and torrents, that run through the territory: Olona, Ticino and Tresa, just to mention the most important names. The particular topography of the territory is composed of small and broad valleys including Val Veddasca, the Dumentina valley, Valcuvia, Valtravaglia, Valganna, the Marchirolo valley and Valceresio. Explore these stupendous natural landscapes on a bike, while you also discover the many villas with gardens scattered here and there.
This is absolutely not the limit of the attractions of the Varese province. This is also a province with a number of protected sites. In particular, Varese is fortunate to count four Unesco worldwide heritage sites. Mount San Giorgio, a primary witness to the evolution of the Earth, is regarded as the best fossil record of marine life from the Triassic Period. The Sacro Monte [sacred mountain], is one of nine present in Piedmont and Lombardy, with 14 splendid votive chapels that lead the visitor up to the sanctuary. The pile dwelling site is part of the greater “Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps” complex. And, finally, the Castrum of Castelserio-Torba, where the walls still conserve one of the most interesting medieval pictorial texts, a part of the “Longobards in Italy. Places of the Power (568-774 A.D.)” complex.
Having said that, the city of Varese, truly a ‘city of gardens’ thanks to the Palace and gardens of the House of Este, and the Park of Villa Mirabello with its trees of the centuries, certainly merits a visit. Other attractions include Villa Panza and many other vestiges of historic and artistic importance.
Obviously, a tour of the Varese province can be concluded on the eastern shore of Lake Maggiore where there are so many typical settlements and important towns to visit one after another along the variegated Lombardy shoreline of the lake also known as the Verbano. Travelling from south to north, visitors can experience and admire Angera, Ispra, Laveno Mombello, Luino and Maccagno.