The city of Varese is well-known not only within Italy but also far beyond its borders. Being not that big (with a population of about 81,000) Varese attracts lots of tourists wishing to see its historical sites and natural beauties. The second name of the town is Citta Giadino – City Garden. The most popular site however is situated outside the town and is called Sacro-Monte di Varese. It’s a place of pilgrimage and religious interest.
One of the most popular places in the town is the Palazzo Estense built in the second part of the 18th century. It is called the most beautiful palace in Varese. Previously the home for the Duke of Modena, now Palazzo Estense serves as the home for local municipal council and town administration. There is a big and picturesque park on its territory. It is the favorite place of natives to spend free time and arrange dates.
Basilica of San Vittorio, constructed in the second part of the 16th – the beginning of the 17th century, is dedicated to the Saint Patron of the Town. The basilica was built in barocco style by Giuseppe Bernascone with neoclassical facade by the Austrian architect Pollack. Its interior is as interesting as its external look. Inside you will see the pictures of well-known Italian painters and georgeous religious statues.
The famous 77-meter high bell-tower near Basilica of San Vittorio is considered to be the most beautiful tower in Lombardy. Every year on the 8th of December a holy mass dedicated to the Immaculate Conception is held at the bottom of the tower. After the ceremony local firemen climb the tower to lay a wreath to the Blessed Virgin.
Go along the passage that leads from the Basilica to the Main Square. It is a huge arch with the names of all the local soldiers who died fighting during the World War II. Almost every family living in Varese and nearby towns can find the names of their gone relatives there.
In the times of Benito Mussolini, Italy was a Fascist state, so it’s no wonder that in many towns throughout the country you can find fascist buildings. One of the most striking examples is situated in the Piazza Monte Grappa. It is a tall and menacing Clock Tower rising above the town. It distinctly differs from the elegant Lombardian architecture by its strict forms, gray color and out-of-place look.