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Bergamo
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Como
Cremona
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Mantua
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Varese
DISCOVER VARESE FOLLOWING ROSITA MISSONI'S ADVICE

Varese/ Must See

1 Palazzo Estense

2 Sacro Monte

3 Musei Civici di Villa Mirabello

4 Isolino Virginia

5 Villa Menafoglio Litta Panza

6 Basilica di San Vittore Martire

7 Villa e Parco Teoplitz con Museo Castiglioni

8 Museo Civico d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea

9 Casa Museo Ludovico Pogliaghi

10 Chiesa di Santo Stefano

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She is the queen of Italian fashion. With her unforgettable husband Ottavio, Rosita Missoni has created a unique style that has conquered the world by translating into simple, rigorous forms a mix of rows, zigzags and other geometries that Americans call “put-together”. A success story that stems from creativity, but first of all from love. The setting? “Our Varesotto region: Ottavio fell in love with it, to the point that we decided to build our factory here, and later also our house with the adjoining park, vegetable garden, etc…” A view not to be missed? One that has the same poetic quality. “The dawns and sunsets on the Monte Rosa”. Spoken like a true Cult City Ambassador of a splendid “Garden City”.

 

I LIKE VARESE BECAUSE
It is a naturally welcoming city thanks to its magnificent position at the foot of the Campo dei Fiori Park and the Sacro Monte. Three quarters of the city are surrounded by the Alps and Prealpi (alpine foothills), forming a beautiful frame around Lake Varese. The city has superb villas tucked away in enchanting parks; not surprisingly, when I was in school it used to be called “Garden City”, a name that I think it still deserves.

A MASTERPIECE NOT TO BE MISSED
The Borgo di Santa Maria del Monte (a UNESCO site), accessible from the Via Sacra, a Via Crucis lined with 14 chapels as Stations of the Cross. On a clear day the view (Monte Rosa and Lake Varese) is breathtaking. The visit also includes the Casa Museo Ludovico Pogliaghi (entrance from Viale delle Cappelle).

A SECRET PLACE
Bar La Darsena, in the Marina of Cazzago Brabbia on Lake Varese, among swans and ducks, serves an excellent spritz accompanied by delicious freshly prepared canapes.

THE MUSEUM I’D VISIT 1.000 TIMES
The Villa and Collection Menafoglio Litta Panza in Biumo Superiore (a FAI Property) with the famous contemporary art collection. In the Sant’Ambrogio district, the Villa Toeplitz with Museo Castiglioni, and in Sesto Calende the Archaeological Museum of the Golasecca Civilisation.

AN INSTAGRAMMER’S DREAM
The dawns and sunsets on the Monte Rosa.

A WALK WITH FRIENDS
To the Isolino Virginia, and then out of the city along the lake and the river Ticino from Sesto Calende to Golasecca.

WHERE TO CAPTURE THE SUNSET
From the piazzale of Villa Molino, formerly owned by the Marquis Stanga and currently seat of the Municipality of Sumirago, you can enjoy a view of the the fiery crown of the Alps with the Monte Rosa massif.

THE TASTIEST DISH
“Riso in cagnone con filetti di pesce persico” (perch served according to tradition with plenty of white rice seasoned with butter and sage), then “polenta e bruscit” and “polenta e cassoela”

THE BEST PIAZZA FOR APERITIF
The terrace of the Borducan Restaurant at Sacro Monte, a place not to be missed in February, when the weather starts to be warmer, to enjoy a pleasant lunch.

WHERE TO DISCOVER HISTORY
At Isolino Virginia (a UNESCO site), the oldest pile dwelling settlement in the Alps; at the Torba Monastery (FAI property), an ancient, evocative place filled with historic atmosphere; and at Gornate Olona on the slopes of a hill on which is located the archeological park of Castelseprio.

WHERE TO LOOK AT THE FUTURE
In my garden, now used as a playground by my great-grandchildren.

AN EVENT NOT TO BE MISSED
In spring, I recommend attending the ‘FAI Days’, when you can visit the Foundation’s Properties which are closed the rest of the year: Villa and Collection Menafoglio Litta Panza in Biumo; the Torba Monastery in Gornate Olona; Villa di Porta Bozzolo in Casalzuigno, and the Velate Tower. Another event not to be missed is the Fiera del Cardinale in Castiglione Olona.

A GIANT OF THE PAST
Ottavio Missoni, my husband, who fell in love with our Varesotto region to the point that in 1965 we decided to work and live here. We built first the factory and then the house, tucked away in a natural park of oaks, chestnuts, birches and heath pines, and we spent our life enriching the natural park with other species of trees and flowering shrubs: camellias, cornus, calycanthus, flowering cherry trees, azaleas, rhododendrons, wisteria, roses, fragrant honeysuckle and meadows with crocuses, hyacinths, tulips, daffodils, snowdrops, primroses, hellebores, and violets, so that we have a flowering plants blooming throughout the year.

A SOUVENIR
A postcard of Monte Rosa with the lake at its foot and the mountain glowing pink at dawn, or ablaze with fiery red at sunset.”

IF IT WERE A SONG
An endless symphony.

FOR A ONE-DAY TRIP
To the Luvinate Golf Club, an old convent, an example of Lombard Romanesque architecture built in the 12th century with a magnificent cloister, a Church and the Club House including a great restaurant whose terrace offers a spectacular view of Lake Varese. To the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso in Leggiuno, an evocative place of incomparable beauty overlooking Lake Maggiore. I also recommend tasting the sweets of some excellent Varese bakeries: the”Dolce Varese” at Zamberletti’s, fondant and marron glacé at Antica Pasticceria Ghezzi, or the “Amaretti di Gallarate” at Pasticcerie Bianchi – Famiglia, which has provided us with delicious desserts for four generations.

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“Varese is a garden city with beautiful villas in enchanting parks. A postcard? The view of Monte Rosa at sunset”.
Rosita Missoni
FASHION DESIGNER

CULT CITY LIFE/ Varese THREE UNMISSABLE EXPERIENCES

THE PAINTED VILLAGES

Just a few minutes from Varese you will discover the magical murals of Marchirolo, Arcumeggia and Runo:villages where the streets are packed with art

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HERMITAGE OF DREAMS

Travel 20km from Varese to Lago Maggiore, you will discover the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, an eagle’s nest built into the rocks above the water

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PURSUING NEW HORIZONS

Whether you admire it from the hills of Biumo, from Campo dei Fiori or from the Mosè terrace, Varese is truly stunning

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CULT CITY GALLERY/ THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PICTURES OF Varese

Villa Menafoglio Litta Panza, Varese
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Sacro Monte, Varese
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Museo Civico d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Varese
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Basilica di San Vittore Martire, Varese
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Musei Civici di Villa Mirabello, Varese
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Villa and Parco Toeplitz with the Museo Castiglioni, Varese
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Casa Museo Ludovico Pogliaghi, Varese
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Chiesa di Santo Stefano, Varese
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Palazzo Estense, Varese
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Varese/ TOURIST INFORMATION

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