Varese is, for me, a perfect mix of small city and village life. While it is technically a city, I felt as if I was walking around a small village. It is the sort of place where everyone knows each other, and when one is there, it feels as if nowhere else on earth exists except this lovely place that you happen to be in at that moment. There is a sort of calmness and peace that overtakes you. Who doesn’t love an outdoor market, especially one that features foods from all over Italia!The Basilica di San Vittore is the main church of Varese. Unfortunately, each time I attempted to visit it, there was a funeral taking place, and when I would return later in the day, it was closed. So, I will have to save exploring the inside of the church for another visit. The Battistero di San Giovanni Battista is a national monument. Built between the 12th and 13th centuries, it still contains the original baptismal font, dating from the 7th century, as well as notable frescoes. Again, I was not able to visit the inside of the Battistero, so I had to make do with the beautiful details of its facade. The Chiesa di Sant’ Antonio Abate dates from the 15th century. As you can see in the picture, it was also closed. My next destination for the day was going to be Villa Mirabello, and the Museo Civico Archeologico. According to the sign, I was heading in the right direction, so I continued on. Once you enter into the grounds of Villa Mirabello, follow the path up the hill, and before you know it, you will be at the building, where the museum is housed. Visiting this small, but interesting collection is a must when in Varese. Admission costs only Two Euros per person. One of the most interesting displays is the “Mummy of Villa Mirabello” — an actual mummy believed to be an 11 to 12-year-old boy, dating between 1594 and 1646.After visiting the museum collections, take the time to wander around the park and gardens! Varese is very close to the border, so the snow-covered mountains, that you see in the photo below, are actually in Switzerland.
Next up: more from my second day in Varese, including a stroll around the Giardini Estensi!
Note: this blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear. If you have enjoyed this post, please check out our archives for more posts from Varese, as well as many other Italian destinations. Grazie!