Varese is an Italian municipality, capital of the province of the same name in Lombardy.
The characteristic appellation Garden City derives from the numerous parks and gardens found within the municipality, mostly appurtenances of villas built there between the 18th and early 20th centuries, first by noble families and more recently by industrialists and representatives of the upper middle class.
The city of Varese has a characteristic location at the foot of the Sacro Monte di Varese (in the Varese foothills of the Alps), which is part of the Campo dei Fiori and is home to an astronomical observatory as well as the prealpine geophysical center. The hamlet that occupies the middle part of the mountain is named Santa Maria del Monte because of the medieval sanctuary, which is reached via the avenue of chapels of Sacro Monte. Marking the lower edge of the city is the lake of the same name that laps it at the level of some hamlets.
Varese Garden City is the appellation that perfectly describes the combination of art and nature that, for several centuries, has characterized the soul of the city. Historic villas and parks to be discovered, enchanting landscapes to be admired, paths of faith and art to be traveled and evocative places that know how to amaze and excite. The cultural and environmental heritage is the most attractive value of the area, which is proposed through the beauty of unspoiled nature as a terrace between lakes and Pre-Alps.
Of particular historical and artistic interest is the Sacro Monte of Varese, an important complex conceived in the late 16th century by Giovanni Battista Aguggiari as an arrangement of the pre-existing pedestrian route to the sanctuary of Santa Maria del Monte. It is a sacred way of about two kilometers flanked by 14 votive chapels retracing the mysteries of the Rosary. Built starting in 1604 by Giuseppe Bernascone, since 2003 the complex has been included with the other nine sacred mounts of Piedmont and Lombardy on the UNESCO World Heritage list
Varese’s history also boasts excellence in sports (basketball, soccer, rowing, cycling) and industry (airplanes, motorcycles, footwear, briar pipes, kitchens).
In Varese, in the Montello district, is the Varese European School, founded in 1960; it is one of 14 European schools in the European Union, the only one in Italy.