Varese is the main town of the region (see map beside): it is surrounded by a rich and verdant land, also called a "land of water" because of its seven lakes (Maggiore, Ceresio, Varese, Monate, Comabbio, Ganna, Ghirla) and numerous streams crossing its terrain.
The east lakeside territory of Maggiore is particularly worth a visit: whilst discovering its artistic jewels you’ll also enjoy fantastic views of the lake, of the Borromeo Islands (Stresa) – easily reachable by motorboat - and of the Alps in the distance.
And all this just around 25 minutes from the international airport of Malpensa, or 45 minutes from Milano city centre.
Additionally there are 4 Unesco sites (up to 2014) to discover, each with a different subject area: paleonthology (Besano), archaeology (Lakes Varese and Monate), Lombard history (Castelseprio, Torba), religious and baroque art history (Sacro Monte di Varese, 17th century). And what about that magnificent series of frescoes painted in the 15th century in Castiglione Olona by one of the greatest Italian masters, Masolino da Panicale, who together with Masaccio, painted the renowned Brancacci Chapel in Florence? The area is a joy for all art lovers!
The territory around Varese and Lake Maggiore boasts many important and beautiful churches as well as numerous palazzi and castles, some of which are open to visitors, like the romantic Villa della Porta Bozzolo (F.A.I.) or the spectacular Angera Castle, dating back to the Middle Ages.