• Lakes

Lago di Varese

Liberty villas, gardens on the lake, itineraries in the woods. And an islet with stilts from the Neolithic. Discover the Lake of Varese

Where
Lago di Varese
Infopoint
Infopoint Varese
Via Luigi Sacco, 11, Varese
+39 0332 281913

Just six kilometres away, this natural city break offers unexpected views, from water to mountains. With true pearls such as the Gardens of Palazzo Estense, Villa Toeplitz, the artistic legacy of Villa Panza and the monumental park of Ville Ponti Almost completely on the flat, this cycle path is suitable for all and runs right around Lago di Varese.

With its very varied scenery, the route alternates views of meadows and woods, water and mountains. The Campo dei Fiori massif slopes down towards the banks of the lake and the Alps can be seen in the distance, with Monte Rosa standing out visibly on clear days.

Campo dei Fiori
Chestnut and beech woods, rock plants and marshlands with a wealth of fauna. Campo dei Fiori park is a paradise for nature lovers, crisscrossed by paths, some of which are themed. The Giubileo trail traces the ancient routes taken by pilgrims on their way from Northern Europe to Rome, while the Verde Varesina is a hiking trail to be walked over several days that takes in the Varese lakes and Prealps.

Another walk takes visitors up to the Sacro Monte mountain, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Those who like visiting churches and buildings will enjoy the Liberty villas, Badia di Ganna and Rocca di Orino in the park.

Special water effects
Romantic, bucolic routes featuring fountains, gardens and orchards. The park of the early twentieth-century eclectic Villa Toeplitz in Varese covers eight hectares and offers a constant series of different experiences. A large number of paths and trails wind their way through the park, allowing visitors to admire a variety of plants that ranges from local to exotic species.

Spectacular fountains in pale blue mosaic and grey Carrara marble reach their climax against a monumental flight of steps in porphyry from Cuasso al Monte. The geometry of the pools and fountains recall the oriental gardens of the Mongolian emperors.

Milan’s “Little Versailles”
This is how Giacomo Leopardi described Palazzo Estense and its gardens in Varese. When he built his residence, the Duke of Este actually had Schönbrunn in mind, the summer home of the Habsburgs in Vienna. The gate of honour leads to a beautiful parterre dotted with beds of low-growing shrubs and flowers. In the centre, a fountain and in the background, Belvedere hill, which offers wonderful views.

Prehistory at Isolino
A few kilometres from the western bank of Lago di Varese, Isolino Virginia is a wonderfully preserved example of one of the most important pile-dwelling sites from the Neolithic, dating as far back as 3500 B.C. Objects in quartz, flint and obsidian chippings and arrowheads were dug up in the sixties and are today on show in the civic
Museum of Prehistory, which can be reached by boat from Biandronno.

A visit ends with an educational trail that explains how the prehistoric inhabitants of the pile dwellings lived. Isolino Virginia is a Unesco World Heritage Site as a pile-dwelling site.

The appeal of the colonnade
Voltorre, just a few hundred metres from Gavirate, is home to the Chiostro della Chiesa di S. Michele cloister. Hidden among farmhouses and plants, this example of Lombardy Romanesque architecture has been a national monument since 1911 and was originally built in 1100.

Its colonnaded walkway is particularly worthy of mention, with its very slender columns of varying heights, cylindrical or octagonal and topped with capitals, each one having a different structure: Greek, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian or Byzantine.

The history of the cloister is explained in a permanent exhibition housed in the modern
art museum in the same building.

 

5 reasons for...

  1. Palude Brabbia bog, Inarzo. This is one of the best preserved lowland peat bogs in foothills and has clear post-glacial origins. Palude Brabbia is managed by the LIPU (Italian society for the protection of birds) and it is a birdwatcher’s paradise.
     
  2. Velate Tower. Belonging to FAI (Italian Environmental Fund), this tower is a landmark in the hilly countryside around Varese and it has great symbolic value for locals. One whole side remains intact of the original formidable 25-metre tall four-sided building.
     
  3. Villa Panza, Varese. A masterpiece of the American advance guards furnished with period furniture and African and pre-Colombian works of art. All housed in an eighteenth-century building, renovated in the twentieth century by Piero Portaluppi and surrounded by a splendid park. Villa Panza is a truly unique must-visit.
     
  4. Canoeing and… Lido Schiranna also offers gliding but the main attraction is canoeing, as Lago di Varese is particularly suited to this sport, so much so that the Australian team picked Gavirate as its European training base camp.
     
  5. Pipe Museum, Gavirate. Briar, cherrywood, olive and wild olive, juniper, oak, applewood, boxwood, mulberry, rosewood, lemonwood, orangewood, cypress, and ebony are the woods used in pipe making. Alberto Paronelli has dedicated a museum to this ancient article. The 30,000 exhibits include tools, machines, porcelain and terracotta.
Take me here: Lago di Varese

Places

Prehistoric Alpine Stilt Houses

  • Unesco Sites
Palafitte Arco Alpino
1.9 km

Prehistoric Alpine Stilt Houses

  • Unesco Sites
Siti palafitticoli preistorici dell'arco Alpino
1.98 km

Lake Varese: the cycling route and footpath

  • Lakes
Lake Varese: the cycling route and footpath
3.23 km

Golf Club Varese

Golf Club Varese offers incomparably beautiful views that embrace Monte Rosa, the Maggiore, Varese and Monate lakes.
  • Golf
Golf Club Varese, Luvinate (VA)
3.56 km

The Sequoia of Villa Baragiola

In a visually stunning landscape, the giant Sequoia of Villa Baragiola stands imposingly tall.
  • Art & Culture
The Sequoia of Villa Baragiola
4.77 km

Castello Castiglioni Mantegazza

  • Art & Culture
Castello Castiglioni Mantegazza
4.88 km

Masnago Castle and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

  • Art & Culture
Masnago Castle and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
5.03 km

Masnago Castle and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art | Varese Convention & Visitors Bureau

  • Art & Culture
Masnago Castle and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art | Varese Convention & Visitors Bureau
5.03 km

The Beech of Masnago Castle

With its purple leaves and size, the large red beech embellishes the atmospheric Mantegazza Park.
  • Art & Culture
The Beech of Masnago Castle
5.08 km

Castello di Monteruzzo

  • Art & Culture
Castello di Monteruzzo
5.39 km

Chapel Fourteen - The Assumption of Mary

  • Art & Culture
Chapel Fourteen - The Assumption of Mary
5.93 km

Chapel Thirteen - The Descent of the Holy Spirit

  • Art & Culture
Chapel Thirteen - The Descent of the Holy Spirit
5.93 km

Chapel 12: the Ascension of Christ

  • Art & Culture
Chapel 12: the Ascension of Christ
5.93 km

Chapel Eleven - The Resurrection

  • Art & Culture
Chapel Eleven - The Resurrection
5.93 km

Chapel Ten - The Crucifixion

The Chapel of the Crucifixion, a masterpiece of art and faith on the Sacro Monte di Varese.
  • Art & Culture
Chapel Ten - The Crucifixion
5.93 km

Chapel Nine - Jesus Climbs the Calvary

  • Art & Culture
 Chapel Nine - Jesus Climbs the Calvary
5.93 km

Chapel Eight - The Crowning with the Thorns

  • Art & Culture
 Chapel Eight - The Crowning with the Thorns
5.93 km

Chapel Seven - The Scourging at the Pillar

  • Art & Culture
Chapel Seven - The Scourging at the Pillar
5.93 km

Chapel Six - Jesus Praying in the Garden

  • Art & Culture
Chapel Six - Jesus Praying in the Garden
5.93 km

Chapel Five – The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

  • Art & Culture
Chapel Five  – The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
5.93 km

Events

The Gran Fondo Tre Valli Varesine On Road Competition

Varese
05/10/2024 - 06/10/2024
  • Cycle Tourism
The Gran Fondo Tre Valli Varesine On Road Competition
5.99 km

Cycling: The Carnago Grand Prix

Carnago (VA)
31/08/2024
  • Cycle Tourism
Cycling: The Carnago Grand Prix
12.5 km

Activities

Bike Tour around the Lakes of Comabbio and Varese

  • Cycle Tourism
Bike Tour around the Lakes of Comabbio and Varese
8.77 km

Italian cooking class

  • Food & Wine
Italian cooking class
11.56 km

Where to sleep

Appartamento Miralago Gavirate

GAVIRATE
Appartamento Miralago Gavirate
1.11 km

B&B IL NIDO AL LAGO

Gavirate
B&B IL NIDO AL LAGO
1.43 km

EQUIRELAIS S.R.L.

Bodio Lomnago
EQUIRELAIS S.R.L.
1.52 km

AGRITURISMO IL LAGO E LE STELLE di Vivai La Prada

Varese
AGRITURISMO IL LAGO E LE STELLE di Vivai La Prada
1.61 km

VILLA QUAGLIA

CAZZAGO BRABBIA
VILLA QUAGLIA
1.66 km

Casa San Martino

CAZZAGO BRABBIA
Casa San Martino
1.66 km

B&B Il Violoncello

GAVIRATE
B&B Il Violoncello
1.86 km

LA CASA DEL CANOTTIERE Appartamento SENIOR

Varese
LA CASA DEL CANOTTIERE Appartamento SENIOR
1.93 km

LA CASA DEL CANOTTIERE Appartamento JUNIOR

Varese
LA CASA DEL CANOTTIERE Appartamento JUNIOR
1.93 km

LA CASA DEL CANOTTIERE Appartamento CADETTO

Varese
LA CASA DEL CANOTTIERE Appartamento CADETTO
1.93 km

B&B Khromova Gavirate

GAVIRATE
B&B Khromova Gavirate
1.94 km

CAV Alianello

GAVIRATE
CAV Alianello
1.94 km

Via Dei Canneti

BODIO LOMNAGO
Via Dei Canneti
2.08 km

Il Castello

CASCIAGO
Il Castello
2.22 km

VILLA BARONI

Bodio Lomnago
VILLA BARONI
2.27 km

VILLA CAMPO DEI FIORI B&B

Casciago
VILLA CAMPO DEI FIORI B&B
2.39 km

Casa Velia

Biandronno
Casa Velia
2.48 km

Locazione Turistica Piazza Chiostro

GAVIRATE
Locazione Turistica Piazza Chiostro
2.5 km

Appartamento Bellavista Gavirate

Gavirate
Appartamento Bellavista Gavirate
2.52 km

Locazione Turistica Via S. Francesco

Inarzo
Locazione Turistica Via S. Francesco
2.62 km